BREAKING NEWS: Fire at Woodies restaurant in Chichester

FIRE has ripped through the kitchen of a Chichester restaurant this afternoon.

Fire crews were called to Woodies Wine Bar and Brasserie, in St Pancras, around 4.15pm.

Woodies, after the fire had been extinguished

Woodies, after the fire had been extinguished

The restaurant is closed on Sundays and owner Matt Beaton, who was at the scene this evening, said it appeared the fire started in the deep fat fryer.

He said the kitchen was ‘absolutely knackered’ by the fire and there was also a lot of smoke damage in other parts of the property.

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service received numerous calls from members of the public who saw smoke coming from the roof of the annexe where the two-storey kitchen is situated.

Fire crews were able to contain the blaze and prevent it spreading to other properties along St Pancras.

It took more than an hour for the fire to be brought under control and nearly two hours for the fire and the numerous hot spots to be completely extinguished.

Fire crews were still at the scene at 6.30pm.

Mr Beaton said the restaurant part of the building was not badly damaged, however parts of the building have been almost completely destroyed by the fire.

The restaurant is closed on Sundays, which is why the fire was not noticed until a substantial amount of the property was alight.

Mr Beaton confirmed the restaurant will now be closed for the foreseeable future while discussions with the insurance company take place.

Around 20 people are employed at the restaurant.