A fire broke out in a Horsham fish and chip shop just metres away from Ferraris parked in the town centre this afternoon (Friday April 3).
Emergency services were called to the Deep Blue restaurant in Colletts Alley between the Carfax and Middle Street in the middle of the first day of Piazza Italia shortly after 1.30pm.
The fire started in the chip fryer and shop was heavily smoke logged when firefighters arrived.
Staff had already safely evacuated the restaurant and the fire was then put out using firefighting equipment including foam.
Station manager Jon Lacey, of West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, praised staff and said the safety systems of Piazza Italia’s event organisers were ‘excellent’.
He added: “The alarm was raised as there was a fire developing in the chip fryer in the chip shop. Staff did a really good job, they evacuated the area which saved us a lot of problems.
“The first fire appliance arrived within nine minutes from Horsham Fire Station. A second was already on its way and they made the decision to request a further two appliances.
“On arrival they found the ground floor heavily smoke logged.”
No one was injured and no cars were damaged, it is believed.
Piazza Italia event manager Garry Mortimer-Cook thanked his team of volunteers and added the first day of the Italian festival was a success despite the blaze.
He said: “Our first thing was to ensure public safety and then to assess the implications of the incident on the event, and we managed according to that.
“It happened in an area where we could manage it - if it had happened somewhere else we might not have been able to keep the event running.
“We have managed to keep the event running and I don’t think anything has been lost. I am delighted with our response and I would like to pay tribute to my team.”
Part of the area around the shop was cordoned off.
Special Constable Neil Worth of Horsham Police said: “There is no damage to any cars. We have had the unfortunate circumstance of a fire in a chip shop. The team has done well to manage the situation.”
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