A fire which started in a chip pan spread through a restaurant and a block of flats, causing traffic chaos as a main road was closed.

The fire started in the kitchen of La Tasca in North Street, Brighton, shortly before 11.30am yesterday (January 30).

Smoke filled the Spanish-style restaurant and spread to the flats above.

North Street was shut to traffic and partly to pedestrians for nearly four hours.

A crowd of shoppers gathered as firefighters on aerial ladders were lifted to the top of the building, close to the Royal Pavilion, to try to clear the smoke.

Buses had to be diverted around the area.

North Street was closed for more than three hours.

Ben Lippolb, of Lancing, said: “I could smell the smoke all the way from the train station"

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