A 'RAPIDLY spreading' fire at an electric car dealership was not caused by the vehicles themselves, according to fire services.

The blaze raged for almost three hours yesterday at the Tesla showroom in County Oak Way, Crawley, damaging half of the building.

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (WSFRS) were called to the scene at 10.28am and announced on social media that they had the fire under control at 1.08pm.

The Argus:

The service released a statement on the incident yesterday evening.

A spokesman said: "Fire crews have been tackling an accidental fire at a Tesla car showroom in Crawley.

"The cause of the fire is under investigation but was not caused by Tesla cars, chargers or batteries. The fire is thought to have started in the storeroom.

"Crews were greatly assisted by Tesla staff on site.

"At its height, eight fire engines including crews from Surrey Fire and Rescue Service, assisted in tackling the fire. An Aerial Ladder Platform was also used."

The Argus:

Adrian Murphy, WSFRS area manager for response, said: "Our fire crews were on the scene within four minutes and found a rapidly spreading fire.

"With the assistance of Tesla staff on the scene and later crews from Surrey, the fire was soon brought under control and at around midday the incident was scaled back."

Crews contained the damage of the building to 25 per cent with a further 25 per cent being damaged by heat and smoke.

The Argus:

After the fire had been brought under control, a Tesla spokeswoman added: “The fire at Tesla’s Gatwick Service Centre has stopped and we are working with the fire department to learn more about what caused this incident.

“We can confirm that no Tesla staff or customers were injured or hurt.”