March 2, 2019 / 6:17 PM / 22 days ago

UPDATE 1-Tesla showroom in southern UK damaged by "accidental" fire

(Updates with fire service statement)

LONDON, March 2 (Reuters) - British firefighters said they had brought a serious fire at a Tesla showroom in southern England under control hours after it broke out on Saturday morning.

The showroom was "well alight" when firefighters were called to the dealership in Crawley but the blaze was brought under control after two hours, said the West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service which sent eight fire engines to the incident.

It described the fire as "accidental".

"The cause of the fire is under investigation but was not caused by Tesla cars, chargers or batteries," the fire service said in a statement. "The fire is thought to have started in the storeroom.

It said crews had managed to contain direct fire damage to the building to 25 percent, with a further 25 percent being damaged by heat and smoke.

The fire occurred the day after Tesla announced that it would dismantle its network of showrooms as part of a plan to launch a cheaper version of its Model 3 sedan.

Reporting by Michael Holden Editing by Catherine Evans

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