Chessington theme park remains closed after fire

Chessington World of Adventures The park was always scheduled to close on Christmas Day

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Chessington World of Adventures theme park in Surrey will be closed until after Christmas, following a fire in a cafe on the site.

The park had been running festive zoo days at its animal park and sea life centre during December while its rides were closed for the winter.

The fire at the Creaky Cafe broke out just after 08:30 GMT on Saturday, before the park had opened.

Chessington said it would readmit day visitors on 26 December.

'Devastated'

It remains open for hotel guests with pre-booked packages.

The park was scheduled to close for the day on 25 December.

No-one was injured in fire which occurred near the zoo and Santa's grotto, but animals were removed to safety.

London Fire Brigade said the single-storey building was destroyed by fire. An attraction next door was also affected, along with a parade of shops and a plant room.

London Fire Brigade at the scene of the fire London Fire Brigade said about 40 firefighters attended the scene

Families were turned away from the attraction on Saturday.

Paul Sharpe, 41, from Maidstone in Kent, who arrived at Chessington's hotel on Friday night with his family, was "devastated" to miss out.

'Disappointment'

He said: "We came out to the car and just heard noise. We saw smoke billowing and lot of people from Chessington running towards it.

"This huge flame shot out of the top of the building, I mean really tall, very orange, and the smoke just was everywhere."

Chessington said the resort would be closed for people visiting for the day, including those with pre-booked tickets and annual pass holders who were not staying at the hotel.

It said people with pre-booked tickets should contact the park.

"The area surrounding Creaky Cafe will remain closed until the investigation is complete," it said in a statement.

"We would like to sincerely apologise for the disappointment this has caused."

The theme park rides and attractions reopen in March.

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