A FIRE started in a school canteen's deep fat fryer.

The incident happened at Blatchington Mill School late this morning, forcing the school to close for the day.

A spokesman from East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said: "At 10:52, firefighters from Brighton and Hove attended Blatchington Mill School, Hove following reports of a fire in the kitchen area. 

"The fire had started from a deep fat fryer.  

"The school has been evacuated and is closed for the day.

"The fire was extinguished using 1 in 7 foam and crews carried out ventilation of the area. 

"Crews left the scene at 11:50."

The school sent a letter to parents to tell them about the incident.

A spokesman said: “I am writing to inform you that we need to close the school this afternoon (Friday, January 11).

“This is due a fire in the School Canteen. All students and staff are accounted for, and there have been no injuries to students or staff.

“The fire service have attended and the fire is out, but due to the fire and smoke damage we, regrettably, need to close the site.

“Students are now in form rooms and will be calling you to make arrangements for safe travel home."

The school have since sent second a letter to parents informing them of the effects of the fire.

A spokesman said: "I want to update you on the plans for next week following our closure due to a fire this afternoon.

"Once again I want to be clear that there were no injuries and this was, in part, due to the superb response of staff who acted swiftly and decisively.

"We have contractors and the local authority on site assessing the damage and extent of repairs needed.

"Our fire systems were robust and controlled the fire and prevented it spreading and causing further damage.

"The damage is limited to the canteen servery area. Classrooms and other spaces are unaffected.

"There is some electrical damage, as well as smoke damage to the canteen area. We will be seeking to repair all damage over the weekend and be ready to open on Monday.

"That said, it is unlikely at this stage that the canteen will be able to serve food on Monday. In the event that we do open on Monday students will need to bring a packed lunch please. We are working on solutions for children who receive a free school meal.

"I will need as much time as possible to assess the suitability of the site for opening on Monday and so I will finalise a decision on Sunday afternoon or evening. I will communicate this to you on email, and update the school website as well. We will only open if it is safe for students, and at this stage we believe that will be possible.

"Once again I want to thank staff - they were marvellous and ensured the safety of all students. We accounted for the whereabouts of every member of our 1600 student community and 200 staff community in under 10 minutes, despite the fact the alarm was at break time - a busy point in the day.

"After an incident like this we will review everything to determine cause and check our systems are suitable, but at this stage the event has been handled incredibly well."