A 66-YEAR-WOMAN is fighting for her life in hospital after jumping 30ft from the window of her home after fire ravaged six houses in Old Town in the early hours.
The woman was taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton following the devastating fire which ripped through the houses in Marine Parade around 12.30am on Sunday.
She had injuries to her legs and body and her condition has been described as critical.
Three men are believed to have held out a bedsheer or duvet the woman had thrown down to break her fall.
Flames could be seen leaping out of the windows of the three storey block and 35 people were forced to leave their homes.
Hastings Borough Council was originally looking to evacuate around 200 residents from the George Street area of the Old Town.
Up to 40 firefighters tackled the blaze with crews from Eastbourne and Lewes sent to assist.
Crews from Bohemia Road and The Ridge fire stations in Hastings remain at the scene of a serious overnight fire.
Some walls and room space collapsed and one gable end was left in a precarious position on Sunday afternoon leaving George Street closed and sealed off.
The fire is currently being treated as unexplained but not thought to be suspicious.
Detective sergeant Suzy Joseph, of Sussex Police, said; “We would like to speak to any witnesses, and in particular to three people, believed to be men, who held out a bedsheet or duvet the woman had thrown down, to try to break her fall. They left the scene without giving us their details.
“Those people, and anyone else who can help, are seeked to call us on 101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org quoting Operation Fox.”
Council spokesman Kevin Boorman said: “It was very serious. It’s the worst fire in Old Town for almost 30 years. At one point we were looking at moving 200 people out. The 35 that we did move were well looked after by the RNLI station and the East Hastings Angling Association. We can’t thank them enough for their support at such a difficult time. One woman is in hospital after jumping and is not very well.
“This could easily have been much more serious if the fire had spread. I went over in a fire crane and could see the fire had ripped right through to the ground floor. The fire service did a great job.”