Littlehampton flats fire: seven rescued

Seven people have been rescued by firefighters after fire broke out in the stairwell of their four-storey block of flats in West Sussex.

A fire alarm alerted residents to the blaze in South Terrace, Littlehampton just after 05:00 BST.

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said several callers reported being trapped in their flats by heat and thick black smoke in the stairwell.

Three people were treated for smoke inhalation. One was taken to hospital.

Dog rescued

The first fire crew on the scene found an elderly woman on a first floor balcony and a man standing on the roof, a fire service spokesman said.

Two men, two women and a dog were perched on a first floor roof.

Four people and the dog were rescued via a ladder at the rear of the building, and the man trapped on the roof was helped down aided by an aerial ladder platform.

Two other residents were led to safety once the smoke had cleared.

The fire, believed to have started in the basement area of the staircase near a back door, caused extensive smoke damage.

The cause is being investigated, with smoking as a possibility.

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