Crawley Tesla fire: Explosions reported as blaze rips through showroom

A fire has torn through a Tesla showroom in West Sussex, damaging at least half of the premises before being brought under control.

Explosions were reportedly heard from the building, but the car manufacturer confirmed that no one had been hurt in the blaze.

The public were advised to avoid the area due to large quantities of smoke billowing from the inferno.

Around 50 firefighters and eight fire engines descended on the Gatwick service centre in Crawley on Saturday morning, where they said the building was “well alight”.

A spokeswoman for the West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said that the fire was now under control, and the firefighters were searching the building for any remaining hotspots.

“The incident is now being scaled down as we have put a stop message on it, meaning it won’t get any bigger,” she said.

“The fire is believed to have started in a store room for parts and spread to the main building. It was an accidental ignition.”

She added that around 50 per cent of the single-storey building had been damaged by the blaze.

Eyewitness Thomas Ferryman told GetSurrey that he had heard “many small explosions” at the scene of the fire, which he speculated could be coming from batteries in the electric vehicles.

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.”

The fire comes amid uncertainty about the future of Tesla showrooms in the UK, as the manufacturer has announced plans to close its dealerships and sell its cars exclusively online.

There are 18 Tesla stores in the UK and Ireland, but the Silicon Valley firm has not yet confirmed the scale of closures or job losses

Source: Independent

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