The fire in the city center pub is believed to have been started by a “malfunctioning air conditioning unit”.

The pub was evacuated by the time crews arrived.

East Suss*x Fire and Rescue Service believe the fire was caused by a fault in the cellar’s air conditioning unit.

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A spokesman said: “At 9.32pm, we were called to attend the Heart and Hand pub in North Road, Brighton, following reports of a fire in the cellar.

The Heart and Hand Pub in Brighton

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“Crews from Brighton, Rodin and Hove attended. The building was evacuated on arrival. Firefighters used four breathing apparatus and a jet hose to extinguish the blaze.

“Once the fire was extinguished, firefighters used a positive pressure ventilation fan to clear the property of smoke.

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“The fire is believed to have started due to a fault in the air conditioning unit.

“We left the scene at 10.12pm.”

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People were encouraged to avoid the area and residents to keep their doors and windows closed.

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