FIRE crews battled a blaze on the 15th floor of a tower block throughout the night to the concern of neighbours.

The blaze broke out just after 1am in Essex Place, Montague Street, Brighton.

Alexandra Pierce and her partner were woken up at 1am by shouting.

She said: "We looked up and saw Essex Place on fire - very scared and concerned for the residents."

Six fire engines from as far afield as Newhaven and Lewes attended the blaze.

At least 12 firefighters in breathing gear ventured into the building and, using three hoses, drew water up to the 15th-floor flat using a dry riser pipe in the block.

The flames, which could be seen from the street, belching smoke into the night sky, were tackled over a period of more than three hours.

Liam Cottam, 26, who lives in Essex Street, Brighton, said: "It woke up the whole neighbourhood.

"The sky was filled with blue lights and thick smoke.

"The worst moment was when the window blew out. It caused this almighty bang and debris went all over the place."

The blaze was two floors above a flat fire that claimed the life of community campaigner Chris Cooke in February.

Mr Cottam added: "Thankfully the occupant managed to escape but it's the third major fire round here in two years. All three have ended up completely gutting the properties involved.

"I'm just glad everyone's OK this time, as it brought back memories of Chris Cooke dying."

A spokesman for East Sussex Fire and Rescue told The Argus that there were no casualties from the scene, which was being inspected again today.

The spokesman added: "Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus and using three hose reel jets extinguished the fire and then ventilated the area before leaving the scene."

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: "At 1.10am police responded to reports of a fire in a 16-storey block of flats at Essex Place, Montague Street, Brighton.

"Officers assisted with road closures and scene control.

"No one was injured. The cause of the fire was not suspicious."