Firefighters helped rescue four people from a flat after a blaze broke out at popular Horsham restaurant over the weekend.
Six fire crews spent several hours fighting the flames at Cote in East Street on Sunday (September 10).
The blaze, which started just after 3am, destroyed the roof of the building while 25 per cent of the first floor was damaged, the fire service said.
Chuenkamol Pilong, manager of neighbouring restaurant The Giggling Squid, was fast asleep in the flat above her restaurant when the fire broke out.
She said there were three other people staying in the flat and they were so tired they slept through the sound of the alarm. They were woken by a loud bang as firefighters knocked on the door.
She said: “Saturday had been so busy so we were fast asleep. We were so lucky.”
Crews managed to save the flat and the restaurant from being damaged. She added: “The fire brigade found the fire and they sealed the gap between the two buildings.”
The blaze was extinguished using four water jets and three hose reels.
Crews spent more than four hours fighting the flames which were extinguished by 7.20am
The fire service said firefighters remained at the restaurant until 8.45pm that evening, dampening down and checking hotspots.
Cote remains closed and Chuenkamol said she was devastated for her neighbour.
She said: “We are very upset for them. Cote is a very nice neighbour.
“They always come here to give us a very nice croissant and we send them a batch of spring rolls.”
The Giggling Squid was open as usual from 11am.
Nandos, which is also located nextdoor to Cote, confirmed it was not affected and was open for business.
The fire service said inspectors were due to return today to try and find the cause of the blaze.