FLAMES engulfed an Oxfordshire petrol station which sent plumes of smoke into the air.

Six fire crews rushed to the BP Garage in Stadhampton, near Wallingford, when it happened about 5.30pm on Monday.

UPDATE - Pictures of the devastation and what's left of petrol station after huge fire


Motorists were told to avoid the area, and roads were closed around the area as the petrol station become fully engulfed.

Water jets were used to stop the fire spreading to nearby homes, including a wooden garage right next to the fire.

Photos posted online show the thick black smoke billowing from the Thame Road facility, which also has an M & S shop,  and the aftermath showing the station completely destroyed. 

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service group manager Gary Coupar said: "Initial crews recognised the severity of the fire and the potential for it to spread to very nearby houses, including one that had a large wooden garage right next to the fire.

"They did excellent work to prevent the spread in very difficult circumstances.

"I would like to thank all the crews that attended along with colleagues from Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue, Thames Valley Police  and South Central Ambulance Service.

"I would also like to thank the nearby residents for their help in the early stages and their patience whilst we dealt with the incident and the staff at the BP filling station for their swift action in evacuating the building when they saw the incident starting."

Herald Series:

Traffic was also backing up around the area due to the closures.

Police said the road reopened at around 10.45pm. It is not thought that anyone was injured.  

More details as we have it.