A warning has gone out from firefighters after a blaze destroyed a first-floor flat in Crawley last night.
West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is urging people to be careful when smoking indoors following the fire at sheltered accommodation at Hogshill Gardens, off Brighton Road, Southgate.
Crews from Crawley, Horsham and East Grinstead were alerted by an automatic fire alarm and on arrival at the flats found smoke issuing from the property.
Said a fire service spokesman: “Fortunately, due to the quick action of staff at the development, which provides additional care and support services, all residents were safely evacuated from the premises avoiding serious harm.”
Watch Commander Lee Walton said: “The crews worked extremely well together and were able to efficiently contain the fire and prevent it from spreading further.
“Smoking inside a property can be a fire risk, so we really urge people to take extra care when doing so. Use a proper heavy bottomed ashtray, never smoke when you feel tired and always ensure you have working smoke alarms that are regularly tested to reduce this risk.
“The residents of this care home had a lucky escape; as a fire crew it’s always a huge relief when incidents are safely contained without any serious injury to individuals.”