EMERGENCY services rushed to a Southampton restaurant after clouds of smoke were seen pouring from ducting.

Fire crews from St Mary’s, Hightown, Redbridge and Eastleigh were called to Harbour Parade after smoke was seen coming from Franco Manca on Westquay Esplanade at 11.49am.

A small fire was started in a pizza over ducting which was extinguished using a hose reel jet.

Officials closed Portland Terrace in both directions but it is now reopened.

One witness told the Daily Echo at the scene: "I just saw quite a bit of smoke coming out as there was a fire in the restaurant."

While another said she was inside Westquay and had to leave the building.

She said: "I saw a lot of smoke as they had just put it out. I was upstairs in Westquay when the alarm started going off and got in a panic.

"It went off for ages before anybody started leaving, and then I saw all the smoke down there."

One person who works at Westquay said: "I think the oven just burned out and the extractor fan, someone told us."

A spokesperson from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "Crews from St Mary’s, Redbridge, Hightown, Eastleigh, HQ and Winchester were mobilised at 11:49 to a restaurant on Harbour Parade.

"There was a small fire in a pizza oven ducting which was extinguished using a hose reel jet.

"An investigation was carried out and no further signs of fire were found.

"The stop message came in at 13:36."

A Westquay spokesperson said: “The safety of our customers, colleagues and retailers is our number one priority. 

"We are liaising closely with the local fire service and as a precaution, we have been advised to temporarily evacuate the unit in question and Portland Terrace mall. 

"We will be sure to keep local people updated and reopen as soon as possible.”