AN INVESTIGATION is underway after a serious fire gutted a children's nursery in Hove last night.

Firefighters at still at the scene tackling flames which enveloped the Cbabiesafe children’s nursery in Palmeira Avenue. 

Eye witnesses said the road has been shut at both ends with police and fire crews in attendance.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said it was called just after 9pm and at its peak sent eight fire engines to the scene.

A spokesman said the fire has swept through the basement and two floors but there are no reports of anyone being injured at present.

The fire is understood to have started in the porch.

Just before midnight the fire service said the building had been badly damaged by the fire and had been joined at the scene by two more engines from West Sussex to help dampen down the blaze.

The roads in the area continue to be closed off.

As of 1am three fire engines were still at the scene, the fire service said.

Crews were able to stop the blaze spreading to nearby homes.

An investigation will take place today (Sunday) to establish the cause of the fire and checks will be carried out to decide whether the building is safe to enter.

Local authority staff, police officers, paramedics, and utilities officials from UK Power Networks and Southern Gas Network are also on the scene.

Witnesses reported seeing a man being arrested and taken away by officers in a police van.

Sussex Police are yet to comment on the incident or to confirm whether the man has been arrested in connection with the blaze.