A main shopping street in Brighton was closed for a number of hours today (Saturday) following a fire.

Ship Street was shut to vehicles after a fire broke out at the Old Post Office.

North Street was also shut to vehicles for a time, with buses stopping at the Old Steine.

Fire commander at the scene of the blaze Adrian Brown intially said arson was suspected.

However, a subsequent fire investigation found the cause to be accidental. 

Six people were rescued from the post office and crews from Brighton, Hove, Roedean, Newhaven, Seaford and Lewes attended.

An East Sussex Fire and Rescue spokeswoman said: "A fire investigation has revealed that a fire which broke out at the Old Post Office in Brighton was accidental.

"East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service was called out at 1.07pm to reports of smoke coming out of the windows of the building on Ship Street.

Siix people were rescued.

"West Sussex Fire and Rescue and ambulance crews also attended the incident.

By 2.10pm the fire was out and firefighters were searching the building using breathing apparatus.

"East Sussex fire crews left the scene just before 5pm."

Brighton and Hove Bus and Coach company initially said: "Due to a fire in Ship Street, North Street is currently closed in both directions "Eastbound services are diverted via Queens Road and North Road back to St Peters Church,St James Street and Sealife Centre. There is a limited service from the Old Steine northbound.

Westbound services are diverted via the Seafront and West Street back towards the Clock Tower and Churchill Square.

"Service 25 are currently terminating and restarting at the Old Steine."

Sussex Police confirmed they were at the scene.

Email reports and pictures of the incident to Anna Roberts.

For a full report read Monday's Argus.