A FIRE which ripped through fifth floor of a hotel was accidental, it is understood.

Crews from five stations responded after smoke was seen billowing from the Ibis Hotel near Gatwick Airport this week.

A cherry picker was brought in and crews worked to stop the flames spreading.

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said teams from Crawley Horsham, Billingshurst and East Grinstead were called in.

Meanwhile help also came from Surrey fire engines from Reigate, Dorking and Salfords.

The hotel was safely evacuated and no one was harmed in the blaze.

The alarm was first raised shortly after 3pm on March 12, and a crew remained to damp down at the scene into March 13.

Now, the fire service said: "We carried out our final reinspection of the property at 5.30pm this evening and have now handed the premises back over to the responsible occupier. The fire is believed to have started accidentally."