Fire wrecks ambulances at hospital.

A blaze wrecked three ambulances at a hospital.

The fire started at about 2.20 pm on Monday in a private ambulance that was parked outsides the east entrance to East Surrey Hospital at Redhill, which serves patients from Horsham, Crawley and surrounding areas.

The private ambulance driver, from Kent, helped by a colleague, safely got a patient out of the vehicle without injury before the fire took hold, but soon flames quickly spread to two other ambulances standing nearby.

About 20 firefighters  controlled the blaze within an hour but the three ambulances had been severely damaged beyond repair.

The blaze did not reach the main hospital building and no patients were affected, although part of the hospital was evacuated as a precaution.

No emergency patients could be admitted for about three hours , with South East Coast Ambulance Service taking patients to other accident and emergency departments until the “all-clear” was given about 5.20pm.

Michael Wilson, chief executive of Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, said: “The hospital is fully open and operational. Grateful thanks go to our staff and the fire, police and ambulance teams for their quick response.”

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