A SHOPPING centre was evacuated after a car caught fire on the third level of the centre’s car park.

Emergency services were called to Churchill Square Shopping Centre in Brighton at 4.35pm today to reports of a fire after the whole building was evacuated.

Four East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service crews were sent to the scene and are still dealing with the car fire, although shoppers have now been allowed to enter the complex.

People reported smelling burning electrics and a small amount of smoke was seen coming from a vent outside the back of the centre.

Matthew Aubrey, 29, from Eastbourne, saw the incident from across the road.

He said: “I saw smoke coming from the car park and realised one of the vehicles must have caught fire.

“It didn’t seem like a huge amount of smoke to me but people were rushing to leave the shopping centre once the evacuation announcement was made.

“It seemed like no one was hurt and I couldn’t see any paramedics.”

Aiden Boiling, 22, from Shoreham, said: "As we were leaving the shopping centre anyway there was smoke coming from the back entrance.

"I could smell the really pungent scent of burning electrics and we were then immediately rushed out of the way by a security guard who looked like he worked there."

Sussex Police liaised with fire crews and assisted with reopening the shopping centre to visitors.