FRIGHTENED staff and diners had to be evacuated from a fish and chip cafe after fire swept through its kitchen area.

Smoke could be seen billowing out of Cockerton Fisheries on Cockerton Green at about 12.20pm today and three fire engines and an ambulance attended.

Nobody was injured in the blaze, which was quickly extinguished by the fire crew before it could spread to any of the other shops in the seven-strong parade.

A Cockerton Fisheries staff member needed treatment at the scene for a suspected panic attack and around ten diners were evacuated from the cafe.

Steve Cummings, Darlington fire station manager, said a full investigation would be undertaken but the fire was believed to have started in the cafe’s range.