• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Chessington theme park closed after fire

A theme park has been forced to close after a blaze in a cafe on site.

Eight fire engines are on the scene at Creaky Cafe at Chessington World of Adventures Resort in Surrey, London Fire Brigade said.

There are no reports of any injuries.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "There are some road closures in place to ensure people are kept a safe distance away."

London Ambulance Service received a call about the fire at 9am and sent emergency response crews to the scene.

In a statement on its website, Chessington said: "Due to unforeseen circumstances, Chessington will be closed today.

"If you had tickets booked for today they will be valid for another day in the future. Further updates will follow."

A fire control officer said there was an "eight-pump fire" at the Creaky Cafe.

A Chessington spokesman said no staff, visitors or animals were injured.

"This morning, prior to the park opening, a fire broke out in Chessington World of Adventures, the resort theme park in Surrey," the company statement said.

"Well-practised emergency procedures were immediately put into operation and the emergency services were called and several fire engines were on site within minutes.

"The theme park and zoo were closed at the time of this incident and, therefore, no guests were involved.

"All staff areas were immediately evacuated and all staff and animals are safe and well.

"The fire has been brought under control and the fire service remain on site and in charge of the incident.

It added: "The health and safety of our guests, staff and animals is our primary objective and Chessington World of Adventures Resort's management team, in conjunction with the fire service, are investigating the cause of the incident.

"The theme park and zoo will remain closed today."

Craig Carter, a station manager for the London Fire Brigade, said the crews worked "exceptionally hard" to bring the blaze under control.

Speaking at the theme park, he said: "London Fire Brigade was called at 8.41am to a fire at Chessington World of Adventures. Crews were quickly on scene.

"At its peak, eight fire engines attended this incident - four from London Fire Brigade and four from Surrey Fire and Rescue Services.

"The crews worked exceptionally hard early on in the incident to bring this fire under control."

Mr Carter said the firefighters worked closely with staff from the theme park. He said: "The park was not open to members of public at the time of the call.

"The staff were evacuated and they implemented well rehearsed contingency plans to ensure the safety and the welfare of the animals here at Chessington World of Adventures."

Asked about the size and ferocity of the fire, he said: "At the moment, whilst we have got operations still ongoing at the scene, it's difficult for me to ascertain the exact extent of the damage.

"What I would say is that our fire investigators from London Fire Brigade are on site, they will be investigating the cause and origin of the fire and will have further information later in the day."

Mr Carter was unable to comment on early reports the fire may have started in a Santa's grotto at the restaurant.

He added: "None of the animals were evacuated, bar two reindeer, interestingly enough.

"So I can confirm that Santa's reindeer are safe and well and ready to be collected on Christmas Eve."

Paul Sharpe, 41, from Maidstone in Kent, who arrived at the theme park last night, said his family was "devastated" to miss out on a day of fun.

Speaking alongside his wife Paula and two boys, Jack, nine, and Ellis, six, the roof tiler described how he saw the events unfold.

"We came last night, ready to go to the park," he said. "After breakfast this morning, we came out to the car and just heard noise. We saw smoke billowing and a lot of people from Chessington running towards it. We saw lots of flames and as I was out here I heard one of the Chessington staff say it was in the grotto.

"Then we went up to our room and checked the website, and Chessington said a fire was started in one of the cafes.

"We went up to the glass roof at the top of the hotel and there was a hell of a lot of flames."

Mrs Sharpe added: "We're devastated. We're going to head home to make gingerbread houses."

Contextual targeting label: 
Fire

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

201465