An ‘intense’ blaze which destroyed part of a Horsham dry cleaners last night (Thursday January 16) is being treated as ‘suspicious’, say West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.
Emergency services were called to the Bishopric just after 6.30pm to find people ‘panicking’.
Two crews from West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service had initially responded to reports of smoke issuing from the roof of Shelley House.
Crew commander Neil Mason said the building was ‘well alight’ upon arrival.
He told the County Times: “We had some people that were panicking on the second floor and hanging from the windows.”
Firefighters attempted to reach the people using a ladder but no one was in danger, continued Mr Mason.
He said the blaze, which had started in an outbuilding used as a laundry room, was ‘intense’.
A propane gas cylinder had to be removed.
Around 80 per cent of the outbuilding was destroyed.
A fire investigation officer was at the scene last night and West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said the incident is being treated as suspicious.
Sussex Police scene of crime officers are due to attend the dry cleaner today (Friday January 17).
A spokesperson for Sussex Police said: “At 6.40pm on Thursday January 16 police were called to Rapide Dry Cleaning at The Bishopric, Horsham, where an extensive fire had occurred in an outbuilding at the rear of the premises.
“The cleaners and surrounding properties were closed at the time and nobody was injured.
“The fire is being treated as suspicious at this stage and police are working with fire investigators to establish the full circumstances.”