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Fire investigators are trying to find what started the blaze that swept through a fuel depot at a farm near Billingshurst.
Firefighters were called to Four Seasons Farm at Coneyhurst just before 10pm Friday night. Police set up a 200m cordon round the farm which was extended to 600m about half an hour later.
Some thirty people living inside the exclusion zone were evacuated but allowed back into their homes just after breakfast. Many of them spent the night in the village hall.
West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service's Deputy District Commander for Horsham, Steve Clack, said: "The first crews on the scene were faced with a significant and well developed fire so an immediate decision was made, working with Sussex Police, to set up a safety cordon to ensure public and firefighter safety.
"We anticipate that fire crews will remain in attendance to assist the Fire Investigation Officers as their investigation into the cause of this fire can now begin."
Inspector Paul Williams, from Sussex Police, said: "This has obviously caused major disruption and upheaval and I should like to thank everyone affected for their co-operation and patience. Thankfully, nobody has been injured in this incident and people have now returned safely to their homes."