AROUND 80 workers were evacuated this afternoon after lithium batteries overheated in a unit on the Ferndown Industrial Estate, triggering a major fire service response.

The ambulance service was also called to the scene at Cobham Road and one woman was taken to hospital to be checked over.

Nobody else was injured in the incident, which firefighters managed to isolate to one room.

In all, six fire appliances were sent to the scene.

Station manager Richard Coleman explained that having around 40 firefighters there was a precaution. Crews faced a tricky situation, as water cannot be used on the type of batteries involved.

Mr Coleman told the Daily Echo at the scene: “We’ve been helping with an incident that we were called to, which involved some overheating battery components.

“There was an acrid smell and popping noise coming out of the room.

“We have had crews with breathing apparatus ventilating the room and making the batteries safe.

“It doesn’t happen very often, but from time to time there are problems with certain types of lithium batteries.”