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.
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.
“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.
“The fire is believed to have started due to a fault in the air conditioning unit.
“We left the scene at 10.12pm.”
People were encouraged to avoid the area and residents to keep their doors and windows closed.
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