Chris Cooke, the community campaigner active for many years in the St James's Street area, has died following a fire at his flat. 

The 48-year-old was taken to hospital after the fire on Saturday evening on the 13th floor of Essex Place, Montague Street, Brighton, but died in hospital today (Monday). 

The fire is not being treated as suspicious and the coroner has been informed, police confirmed. No-one else was injured.

A respected and influential campaigner for his neighbourhood and for gay rights, Mr Cooke's many roles incluuded chair of the fundraising committee of the Rainbow Fund.

He had chaired the residents' association at Essex Place and was also the LGBT representative for the city's equalities and inclusion partnership.  Tributes to Mr Cooke have been pouring in during the past hour. 

Brighton and Hove City Council leader Warren Morgan said: “I’ve known Chris Cooke for many years and he was a determined campaigner for the St James’s Street area and the LGBT community.

"His death will come as a shock to everyone in the city who knew him, and all of our thoughts should be with his friends and family as we come to terms with this tragic event.”

Ellis Collins, from Manchester Street shop Merlin and Ellis, described Mr Cooke as a "wonderful, supportive, gentle man."

She added: "He had time for many and supported me greatly at many events and also at my shop in Kemp Town.

"This has shocked me greatly and I just hope he did not suffer too much at the end of his far too short life.

"Kemp Town has lost another shining star today."

Ed Allison-Wright, from the Brighton and Hove Strategic Housing Partnership, said: "It's devastating to hear this news; Chris was the Treasurer of Friends of Queen's Park (just one of a myriad of charitable appointments that he held) and has been an incredibly valuable and committed member of the local community.

"He will be sorely missed and my thoughts go out to his close friends and family."