SHOPPERS enjoyed a champagne reception at the reopening of the Tesco supermarket in Sandhurst after a major blaze destroyed part of the building in August.

The Tesco Extra store at The Meadows closed for eight weeks after the fire, which raged for more than two hours during the early hours of August 1.

It later emerged that damage from the fire was limited to the warehouse where it began, with damage to the main store caused by smoke and water. The total cost has not been revealed, but is expected to run into millions.

Police said inquiries into the cause of the fire are continuing.

The doors opened on Monday at 8am with the first 300 customers enjoying a glass of champagne.

The ribbon was cut by representatives of the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service and officers from Yateley and Crowthorne fire stations.

David Campbell, Tesco store manager for Sandhurst, said: "It's taken a lot of hard work, but we're delighted to reopen to our customers after only eight weeks."

At the opening, Tesco, the fire service and Ei Electronics announced a joint fire

safety initiative.

The scheme, sponsored by Tesco, aims over the next few weeks to provide every pupil at infant and junior schools in Sandhurst and Crowthorne area with a smoke alarm for their bedrooms.

Firefighters will be distributing 3,800 fire detectors to children.

Sgt Les Howard, from Crowthorne fire station, said: "As far as fires go, many people believe it will never happen to them.

"Children's bedrooms are a dangerous area; electrical appliances such as televisions, computers, hair tongs and now joss sticks and candles are all potential fire hazards.

"As well as giving away free smoke alarms to schoolchildren we are hoping to push across a strong fire safety message."