SEVERAL people fled their home during the night after a suspected arson attack on Sunday.
Firefighters spent three hours at the terraced house in Bohemia Road tackling the blaze after it broke out at around 2.15am.
The front bedroom was severely damaged and the rest of the third floor suffered extensive smoke damage.
No one was injured and all the residents were safely outside when firefighters arrived.
The British Red Cross Fire and Emergency Support Unit was called to the scene.
Police arrested a 35-year-old local man at the scene on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger.
He has been released on bail until December 20 pending further enquiries.
A smoke alarm was fitted inside the property but it had no battery.
Graham Geer, crew manager from Bohemia Road Fire Station, said: “After the incident our crews made house-to-house calls to reassure neighbours and to ensure that these properties had working smoke alarms fitted.
“An investigation is now underway to determine the cause of the fire and both the fire investigation dog, along with his handler, as well as a fire investigation officer were at the scene throughout the morning.
“May I take this opportunity to remind people to check their smoke alarms on a weekly basis and never be tempted to remove the batteries, even for a short period of time.”
East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service offers free smoke alarms and home fire safety visits.
For further information or to arrange a visit, contact the community safety team on 0800 1777069.