Fuel depot fire near Billingshurst

MORE than 50 firefighters worked through the night at the weekend to tackle a blaze which broke out a fuel depot near Billingshurst.

The fire at Four Seasons Farm in Coneyhurst started just before 10pm on Friday (August 19).

A 600-metre cordon was put in place and 30 people were evacuated to Billingshurst village Hall, which had been opened up as a rest centre by Horsham District Council. All residents have now safely returned to their homes.

A multi-agency operation between emergency services and local authorities was quickly put in place. A South East Air Support Unit helicopter provided downlink video of the incident to assist fire officers in their assessment of the scale of the blaze.

A section of the A272 fell within the cordon, as did a number of smaller, local roads.

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service’s Deputy District Commander for Horsham, Steve Clack, said: “The first crews on the scene were faced with a significant and well developed fire so an immediate decision was made, working with Sussex Police, to set up a safety cordon to ensure public and firefighter safety.”

Inspector Paul Williams, from Sussex Police, said: “This has obviously caused major disruption and upheaval and I should like to thank everyone affected for their co-operation and patience. Thankfully, nobody has been injured in this incident and people have now returned safely to their homes.”