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Children rescued from burning Brighton building
Three children were dragged to safety from a burning building during a dramatic rescue last night.
Emergency services rushed to Clarence Square in Brighton at around 9:10pm after reports of young people trapped inside a top floor flat.
Five police officers were first on the scene and bravely battled into the house to try and rescue the panicked children - but were beaten back by smoke and flames.
Confusion reigned when fire crews with breathing equipment mistakenly arrived to the wrong side of the house on Western Road where there was no access.
They rushed round to Clarence Square, climbed a ladder to the top floor, smashed in the windows and brought out the terrified children - a four-year-old boy and a girl and boy, both aged 14.
Flames and smoke billowed out onto Western Road, which was closed to traffic for around two hours.
It emerged the girl, who is related to the young boy, had been left to babysit the child while his parents were out.
The 14-year-old boy, a friend of the girl, had been invited over for the evening. Firefighters from Hove fire station said the fire was believed to have been started accidentally by candles.
The flames were brought under control by 10:28 after causing extensive damage to the lounge and kitchen of the flat.
Alice Johnson, 24, who witnessed the aftermath of the drama, said: “You could see the top floor was destroyed and completely burned.
“It's a miracle that the firefighters and police were able to get the kids out without them being hurt.”
The three children and the five police officers, a sergeant and four constables, were treated at the Royal Sussex County Hospital for the effects of smoke inhalation.
The children were kept in hospital overnight for observation where the four-year-old's parents came to be reunited with their son.
Inspector Richard Delacour, Sussex Police, said: "Police and firefighters worked successfully together to ensure that the three were brought to safety and that nobody else was endangered."