Racecourse fire in Northampton has been blamed on a faulty sprinkler system.

    The sprinkler systems of the Northampton Racecourse, which includes the Hilton Marriot and the North London Racecourse are at their most vulnerable during the Christmas period, due to the holidays.

    They are designed to protect against water, smoke and dust, but there has been an increase in the number of fires at the racecourse during the last two months.

    A spokesman for the North York Fire Service said the fire on the south side of the Hilton marriot on Wednesday morning was extinguished by about 12.30pm.

    He said the sprinkler on the race course was failing and it was not expected to be fixed until Sunday.

    Firefighters were still trying to assess the damage, he said.

    “It’s one of the most critical areas that we have had to deal with in the last few years.”

    The North London Fire Service has also confirmed it has been dealing with more fires, adding the Hilton’s south side is not in good condition.

    “The south side area has been the main concern of us,” a spokesman said.

    Northampton Race Course spokeswoman Claire Breen said the race is a major drawcard for visitors and it’s very disappointing that it has come to this.

    “The safety and comfort of our guests is our primary concern and it has not been lost on us,” she said.

    The fire was brought under control after firefighters arrived and put out the fire.

    An estimated 1,200 guests are expected to visit the race in the coming weeks.