A LARGE fire which caused substantial damage to several units at an industrial park in Lytchett Matravers overnight is believed to have been started deliberately.

The blaze at Sunnyside Park on Wimborne Road was tackled by 11 crews following a call from a member of the public at 9.56pm last night.

The fire service remained on the scene until 9am this morning.

The fire left a path of destruction, burning through the Smokey Loft dairy smokery and causing the roof of two large adjacent units to collapse, which included engineers Select Marine.

Peter Guest, owner of the industrial units, said he was contacted by one of the site's neighbours at around 10.30pm and on arriving at the scene the units were already blazing.

"All I know is nothing was happening here last night when the site was left. It possibly started this end (the northern side of the units) and worked its way through," Mr Guest said.

"I’ve contacted all the tenants affected to let them know and some of them were here last night.

"I'm devastated for the Smokey Loft guys because they have not been going very long and started to make a profit. I'm really upset for all the tenants affected by this."

The site, which consists of more than a dozen units, has been owned by Mr Guest's family for many years.

He said the large unit which was damaged was put up in the late 1970s or early 1980s.

Residents were told by the fire service to keep their windows and doors shut due to a low-level hazard of smoke from asbestos.

In total, 11 crews were on scene and they used the aerial ladder platform as a water tower, two main lines, one hose reel, four sets of breathing apparatus, two ground monitors and two compressed air foam lines to tackle the blaze.

Hugh Kevill-Davies, who runs the Lytchett Minster Garage, said he was very lucky his unit was not damaged.

The garage was the next unit across from Select Marine and Mr Kevill-Davies had several cars stored overnight, including an E-Type Jaguar.

"I'm lucky as I've a lot of valuable cars in there at the moment," he said.

"I didn't know anything about the fire until I turned up this morning, so it was quite a surprise."

The fire was brought under control by 12:48am and the final fire crew left the scene at 9.02am.

A spokesperson for Dorset and Wiltshire Fire Service said ambulance were in attendance and the fire is believed to be deliberate.

Dorset Police said they were not aware of any suspicious circumstances and an investigation had not been launched.

The fire service contacted police at 10.10pm to close Wimborne Road and officers shut the road at the junction with Wareham Road and the junction with A350 Poole Road.