AN EXPLODING battery used to charge an electronic bingo board started a fire at the Isle of Wight's biggest bingo venue.

The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service was called out to Leo Leisure's Commodore venue, in Star Street, Ryde, at 11.55am today (Tuesday).

They received a report of a digital tablet, used for bingo, had been charging when the fire started.

A small fire started when a battery charging the bingo board, "exploded", said Adam Widdowson, one of the co-managers at the entertainment premises.

After raising the alarm, quick-thinking staff used a foam extinguisher to put the fire out before four crews — two from Newport and ones from Ryde and Sandown — together with the aerial ladder platform and an officer, attended the venue.

Ten people — the majority of them staff, some of them customers — were evacuated from the building.

"If no one had been there at the time, the fire could've spread, but it was a small fire and was put out very quickly indeed," said Adam.

"It will be business as usual when we open tonight."

Firefighters ventilated the property, with the incident closed at 12.18pm.