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Fire at Embassy Court in Brighton leaves three homeless
A fire ripped through a flat in a historic block of flats leaving residents homeless.
Scores of residents were evacuated from the modernist Embassy Court block of flats after fire broke out in a third floor flat.
Six fire crews from Preston Circus, Hove, Roedean and Shoreham as well as a specialist aerial ladder team were called to the blaze at the flats in Kings Road in Brighton at 8.15pm on Thursday.
Paramedics also attended the incident and treated one resident at the scene.
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Firefighters remained at the scene until 2am yesterday and return to inspect the property at 3.30am.
Three residents were forced to find alternative accommodation after fire damaged one property and flooding in the flat below rendered them uninhabitable.
A fire investigation into the blaze is ongoing but initial indications are that the fire had not been started deliberately.
Completed in 1936, Embassy Court was one of the first modernist buildings in Britain and also the first penthouse suite anywhere in the country.
Richard Chamberlain, watch commander at Preston Circus Fire Station, said: “There were people in the flat the time but they evacuated and everybody got out.
“The fire was contained to the flat and it was out within probably twenty minutes of us making it to the flat but then we stayed on to make sure the building was safe for people to go back into.
“The fire flat is totally uninhabitable and the one below after a water main was affected during the incident and water came into the flat below.”
Cara Courage, who has been running tours at the building for the past six years, said: “Because I am a tour guide, I started getting texts from friends and I got down there pretty quickly.
“My first concern was that everybody was safe and second it was great to see that the building is still structurally sound and standing.
“There hasn't been a fire there since it was restored in 2005 and it has just been repainted.”
Emma Jinks is chair of Blue Storm Ltd which is Embassy Court's resident association's freehold company.
She said: “The managing agents have been in the flat that had the fire and there is fire damage throughout and I imagine it will need redecorating.
“We had a big fire alarm system put in during the restoration in 2005 which is really loud and everything worked properly.
“It's a building made of concrete so it's pretty difficult to see how fire could spread throughout the building.
“With Thursday night's fire and the one in 2001, both were contained within the flat.”
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