Fire breaks out at Tesla service centre


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Media captionFire crews battle blaze at Tesla in Crawley

A fire at a Tesla car service centre has damaged at least half of the site.

The "significant fire" broke out in the workshop area at the premises in County Oak Way in Crawley, West Sussex, just before 10:30 GMT. No-one was injured.

Thick black smoke could be seen over the building, with one eyewitness reporting "many small explosions".

More than 50 firefighters and eight fire engines were sent to tackle the blaze, which was brought under control three hours later.

A spokeswoman for the fire service said about 50% of the single storey building had been damaged by fire and heat.

She added: "Four appliances are still at the scene with an aerial platform and an incident command unit.

"The incident is now being scaled down... they are now just locating any hotspots in the property to make sure it is extinguished and we will return later to ensure the fire is out."

Image caption The fire was brought under control after three hours

She added the fire was believed to have started in a store room for parts and spread to the main building.

"It was an accidental ignition," the spokeswoman said.

Image caption More than 50 firefighters tackled the blaze

A Tesla spokeswoman said: "The fire at Tesla's Gatwick Service Centre has stopped and we are working with the fire department to learn more about what caused this incident.

"We can confirm that no Tesla staff or customers were injured or hurt."

On Friday, the US electric car manufacturer announced plans to close showrooms and switch to an online-only sales model.

The firm has 18 showrooms in the UK and Ireland, including the one in Crawley.