Residents evacuated in St Leonards flat fire

The fire at the flats in Woodland Vale Road, St Leonards. Picture by Sarah Gould
The fire at the flats in Woodland Vale Road, St Leonards. Picture by Sarah Gould

Around 20 people were evacuated last night (Monday) after a fire ripped through a St Leonards flat.

Firefighters from Bohemia Road Fire Station spent three hours tackling the blaze at Pembroke Court in Woodland Vale Road after receiving a report just after 10pm.

Andy Ling, watch commander, said: “When we arrived it was a fully developed fire on the second-floor flat. Around 20 people were evacuated and we had eight fire appliances at the scene plus the aerial ladder platform.

“There was one person unaccounted for and residents thought the lady in the affected flat was inside. We did a thorough search and she was later located at an address in Little Common.”

He added the blaze spread from the affected flat to the roof space and caused damage to several adjacent properties.

Mr Ling said police were already in Woodland Vale Road on an unrelated matter when the fire took hold.

A Sussex Police spokesman said: “Police assisted residents of a block of flats in St Leonards to safety after a fire broke out in one of the flats.

“Patrolling officers spotted the fire at Pembroke Court, Woodland Vale Road, St Leonards, at 10.10pm, and helped all residents to leave. Nobody was injured.

“The fire was extinguished shortly after midnight and the residents were able to return to all except the affected flat, which had not been occupied at the time the fire broke out.

“The cause of the fire is currently unexplained. Police and fire investigators will be examining the scene this morning (Tuesday).”