Scores of residents in the Old Town were evacuated in the middle of the night after a major fire ripped through several houses.
Up to 40 firefighters attended the scene in Marine Parade following the blaze, which started at around 12.30 this morning (Sunday).
One woman, believed to be in her 60s, was taken to hospital.
It is believed she jumped out of a top-floor window from one of the burning properties, where the fire started, and sustained serious injuries.
Kevin Boorman, spokesman for Hastings Borough Council, said there was a mass evacuation, with more than 30 people led to safety.
He added that Hastings RNLI provided shelter and refreshments for residents who had to leave their homes.
The blaze started in one of the Marine Parade buildings, which is in a small row of seven terraced houses.
Five lost their roofs and a sixth property was badly smokelogged.
Most residents who were evacuated were back in their homes by 7am, Mr Boorman added, but it is believed three families have been displaced.
Nigel Cusack, borough commander for Hastings at East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, said: “As yet we do not know what the cause of the fire is. It was very intense as it went through five properties.
“There were eight fire appliances deployed to the scene, including two aerial ladder platforms.
“Firefighters managed to contain the fire to one side of the road. There was a real potential that the fire could have been much larger and spread elsewhere in the Old Town.”
Several of the affected properties have been declared unsafe and a structural survey is being arranged.
Part of George Street was cordoned off by police and firefighters.
The A259 Marine Parade has already been closed eastbound.
* Were you one of the residents evacuated and led to safety? Contact Observer reporter Richard Gladstone by email at firstname.lastname@example.org