Fire at Tesla vehicle service centre ‘now under control’

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A fire at a Tesla car service centre which has damaged at least half of the premises is now under control, according to firefighters.

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service were called to the Gatwick service centre in Crawley at 10.29am on Saturday where they said the building was “well alight”.

No-one has been reported hurt, according to Tesla.

An eyewitness described hearing “many small explosions” coming from the premises.

About 50 firefighters and eight fire engines, as well as an aerial ladder platform and an incident command unit, were initially scrambled to the scene in County Oak Way.

The fire service posted on Twitter: “The Tesla car dealership building in #Crawley is currently well alight. We were called at 10.29am, crews at scene. Please avoid this busy area.”

It added: “We are currently in attendance of a significant fire in Crawley, on County Oak Way. Six engines and an Aerial Ladder Platform at scene.”

Eyewitness Thomas Ferryman told GetSurrey that he had heard “many small explosions”, which he believed could be batteries for the electric vehicles.

A spokeswoman for the fire service said that the fire was now under control, and the firefighters were searching the building for any remaining hotspots.

She said that approximately 50% of the single storey building, 50 metres by 30 metres in size, had been damaged by fire and heat – and about 50 firefighters had attended the incident.

She added: “Four appliance are still at the scene with an aerial platform and an incident command unit.

“The incident is now being scaled down as we have put a stop message on it, meaning it won’t get any bigger.

“They are now just locating any hotspots in the property to make sure it is extinguished and we will return later to ensure the fire is out.”

The spokeswoman added: “The fire is believed to have started in a store room for parts and spread to the main building. It was an accidental ignition.”

A Tesla spokeswoman said: “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.”

The fire comes as the electric car manufacturer has announced plans to close its dealerships and to sell its vehicle online only, raising doubts about the future of its sites in the UK and Ireland.

The Silicon Valley firm has not confirmed the number of store closures or job losses, but Tesla has 378 stores and locations worldwide – including 18 stores in the UK and Ireland.

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