A investigation has been launched into a fire which started outside a shop.

Six people had to be evacuated following the fire in the open outside a shop in North Road, Brighton, in the early hours of this morning

Firefighters from Brighton were called to the blaze at 4.48am and remained at the scene until 5.58am.

Nearby residents had to be evacuated from a block of flats as the fire escalated and smoke spread.

A road in the vicinity of the area was closed off to the public while crews worked to put out the fire using hose reels and wearing breathing apparatus.

A fire investigation officer was called to the scene and a full investigation got underway first thing this morning.