East Surrey Hospital
Thee ambulances caught fire at East Surrey Hospital

Three ambulances have been reduced to smouldering wrecks outside East Surrey Hospital after a fire forced it to shut its A&E department. The vehicles were completely destroyed in the blaze, which broke out at the Horley hospital at approximately 2.15pm on Monday 6 June.

No patients or staff were in the ambulances at the time and no one is thought to have been injured in the fire. The hospital was forced to temporarily close its A&E department after witnesses reported hearing explosions.

South East Coast Ambulance Service said it was too early to say what caused the fire but believed it started in an adjacent vehicle before spreading to the ambulances. Four fire engines were sent to tackle the fire and an investigation is under way to discover how it started.

Michael Wilson, the chief executive of Surrey and Sussex healthcare trust, which runs the hospital, said: "There were no patients involved and all patients and staff are safe. The police, fire and ambulance services were on site within a few minutes and the fire is now under control. Currently the hospital is closed to emergencies and patients are being diverted through the South East ambulance service."