Residents have reported hearing six explosions during a fire at a Farnborough workshop which left a man with second degree burns to his legs, chest and back.

Around 36 firefighters tackled the serious blaze in the garage in Priory Street at 4.10pm on Sunday, and were faced with the added danger of several gas cylinders inside the premises.

Three garages, one car and one steam traction engine were damaged by fire.

Neighbours recall hearing one loud bang, followed by a serious of smaller blasts.

One, who was in the neighbouring park at the time, said: "I heard a couple of bangs then saw the smoke but didn't think too much of it.

"I thought it was a bonfire going wrong. I heard more bangs and then realised it was more serious than I thought."

The flames were seen to be rising a couple of feet out of the workshop as fire crews battled to extinguish the blaze and cool the gas cylinders which contained acetylene, oxygen and liquid petroleum gas (LPG).

Another local resident said they saw the injured man, named locally as Martin, outside the workshop.

"Pretty much all his clothes had been singed away. His shirt only covered one arm. He was in a state of shock," they said "The fire crews were fighting it for a while but it was a strong blaze so it probably [took them] a while."

The fire is being investigated by Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Simon Forster, crew manager at Rushmoor Fire Station, said: "We were called as there was smoke around a suspected garage and workshop fire.

"Inside the workshops, a very old steam engine was being worked on. Numerous cylinders were inside. We had to be careful they did not explode - 100% of the building was involved in the fire. The gentleman that owned the premises was taken to hospital.

"He tried to tackle the fire prior to our arrival. I think he was severely burnt.”

A spokesman for South East Coast Ambulance Service, which had three paramedic cars and an ambulance at the scene, said a 50-year-old man had been injured in the incident.

He said: “The patient suffered second degree burns to his legs, chest and back area. He was fully conscious on route to the hospital and was given pain relief at the scene.

“He had 10 to 15% burns and was taken to Frimley Park Hospital.”

Neighbours believe he has since moved hospitals.