County News: Ferraris caught up in fire drama at Sussex fish and chip shop

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Part of a Sussex town centre was evacuated as expensive Ferraris were caught up in a fire at a fish and chip shop today (Friday April 3).

The blaze broke out in Deep Blue restaurant in Colletts Alley, Horsham, just metres away from Ferraris parked in the Carfax on the first day of Piazza Italia.

Firefighters were called shortly after 1.30pm to tackle the fire, which started in the chip fryer and had spread to the ventilation system.

Staff had already safely evacuated the shop by the time emergency services arrived, and no one was injured.

Piazza Italia event manager Garry Mortimer-Cook thanked his team of volunteers, who set up a cordon while emergency services worked at the scene, for their quick response.

He added none of the cars had been damaged by flames or smoke, and 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.”

Some of the supercars were moved away from the entrance to Colletts Alley, and members of the public were asked to move away from the incident.

Station manager Jon Lacey, of West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, praised staff at the chip shop for safely evacuating the premises and ensuring no one was hurt.

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.”

Horsham’s Piazza Italia continues tomorrow with more classic cars arriving in the town, along with an Italian market and entertainment.