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Southampton's St Mary's stadium engulfed by smoke as nearby fire breaks out hours before Preston North End clash

Southampton's St Mary's stadium engulfed by smoke as nearby fire breaks out hours before Preston North End clash

Breaking news.

Southampton's Championship fixture against Preston North End has been postponed after a major fire broke out close to St Mary's Stadium.

Russell Martin's side were due to be in home action on Wednesday at 7:45pm as they looked to continue their promotion push against a North End outfit that are four points off the play-off places.

But footage emerged early on Wednesday afternoon that shows an industrial building nearby the stadium - reported to be a warehouse - billowing smoke and fire over the ground.

You can check out the video below.

Fire services have attended the blaze, with an official statement (via the Southampton Daily Echo) reading: "Crews are currently attending a fire in Marine Parade Southampton. The initial call came in at 1:05pm.

"The fire is affecting industrial units near St Mary's football stadium.

"There are currently eight fire engines, two aerial ladder platforms and other specialist vehicles in attendance.

"People in the area are advised to keep windows and doors closed due to the amount of smoke.

"Some roads local to the incident are closed and people are advised to avoid the area to allow movements of emergency vehicles."

Those close to the scene have now reported that parts of the building have collapsed.

The EFL confirmed to SPORTbible that they were monitoring the situation, and would provide a update once a decision had been made.

Meanwhile, local police forces from both Southampton and North End were also in discussions over the situation.

Now, it has been confirmed that the game has indeed been postponed due to the incident around the stadium.

Southampton wrote in a statement: "The decision was made after consultation with the local authorities and emergency services after a major fire broke out in a building next to the St Mary's Stadium site earlier today.

"The incident has caused significant disruption in the area with road closures around the stadium still in place as fire crews continue to deal with the situation.

"We are grateful for the co-operation of Preston North End and the EFL, and while we appreciate the disappointment fans may feel, we hope they will understand the need to put the safety of supporters and staff of both clubs first."

An EFL spokesperson said: "The EFL can confirm that tonight's Sky Bet Championship fixture between Southampton and Preston North End has been postponed as a result of health and safety concerns following a fire nearby St Mary's Stadium.

"The League will liaise with both Clubs to determine a suitable date to reschedule the fixture, with details to be confirmed in due course."

Featured Image Credit: Getty / X/Twitter/@hogequeen

Topics: Southampton, EFL Championship, Preston North End, Football