A BLAZE broke out in the kitchen of Bella Italia in Weymouth town centre.

Three engines rushed to the scene just after 8pm yesterday after a deep fat fryer caught fire in the restaurant in St Mary Street.

Staff evacuated the building and the fire caused severe damage to the property.

A spokesman for Dorset Fire and Rescue Service said: “At just after 8pm the service received a report of a chip pan on fire at Bella Italia restaurant in St Mary Street, Weymouth.

“Two appliances from Weymouth were sent to the scene and a third from Dorchester was requested.

“The fire involved a deep fat fryer in the kitchen.

“There was severe damage by heat and smoke to the kitchen and light damage to the rest of the property.

“Smoke had percolated through to Mothercare next door and the premises was ventilated.

“The last appliance left the scene at 9.57pm.”

A spokesman for Bella Italia said: “There was a small fire in Bella Italia in Weymouth which was extinguished by the fire brigade.

“Staff exited the building quickly and no-one was injured.”

A spokesman for Mothercare said their store suffered no damage.