Fire ripped through a pub roof after flames broke out in the kitchen.

Sixty firefighters battled for more than three hours to stop the blaze spreading through the Frogs Hole Farm Pub in Maidenbower, near Crawley.

Customers and staff were evacuated after the fire broke out.

There were no reports of injuries but West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said 15 per cent of the roof was engulfed in flames at the height of the fire and some officers were forced to withdraw from the building at one point when part of the roof collapsed into the dining area of the pub.

Officers were alerted to the incident just before 2.30pm and two fire engines arrived shortly afterwards to find the fire starting to break through the roof at the rear of the building.

Between 20 and 30 staff and customers had already evacuated to the safety of the pub car park.

Eight more engines plus an aerial ladder platform and other specialist equipment were then requested Crews were expected to be at the scene through the night to ensure safety.

The cause of the blaze is under investigation but initial enquiries suggest the fire may have started accidentally in the pub kitchen and spread to the roof through ducting.

Managers from the brewery were working with fire crews at the scene last night to assess the damage and see how quickly the pub could re-open.