ARSON has been blamed for a fire that ripped through a workshop at a used van dealership in Cadnam on Sunday afternoon.
About 40 firefighters battled to contain the emergency in response to a call-out around 1pm to Vansco in Romsey Road.
Flames were said to have spread from two burning cars at the rear of the garage. No injuries were reported.
Other vehicles were engulfed, along with the ground floor of a detached building used as a workshop.
Gas cylinders had to be removed as the fire crews from across the New Forest and Southampton areas spent over two-and-a-half hours bringing the flames under control. They used breathing apparatus and an aerial ladder platform.
By the time the flames were extinguished, the building and the vehicles had sustained extensive damage.
Alerted amid suspicions as to how the blaze had started, Hampshire Police confirmed the following day that it was being treated as arson.
Detectives are urging people to come forward if they may have witnessed any suspicious activity around the time the incident took place.
A force spokesperson said: “We are keen to hear from anyone with information on what took place.
“Were you in the area at the time? Perhaps you were driving past the garage at the time and have dash cam footage? Or do you live nearby and have private CCTV footage that could help our investigation?”
Anyone with information should contact officers on 101, quoting crime reference number 44190163561, or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.