Arsonists are thought to have started a fire at a care home.

Firefighters were called to the blaze at Mermaid Lodge in Brighton Road in Lancing on Sunday night.

The fire broke out in one of the bedrooms but no one was injured.

There were nine residents and two members of staff in the building at the same.

A spokeswoman for West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said: “All of the people present were accounted for.

“It is believed the fire was started as a result of deliberate ignition.”

The spokeswoman said crews were alerted to the blaze shortly after 8.30pm on Sunday.

Two fire engines from Worthing and one from Lancing went to the scene.

She added: “The fire started in one of the ground floor bedrooms and was contained to that room.

“There was smoke coming out of the window.

“We left the scene at 10.30pm.”

The damage was restricted to the bedroom.

The spokeswoman confirmed the service was investigating the incident in conjunction with Sussex Police.

Raj Dooraree, co-owner of Mermaid Lodge, said: “Fortunately, the fire did not cause much damage.

“There were just several items of clothing which have been burnt.

“There was probably about £300 to £400 worth of damage in total.

“There is water everywhere from the fire hoses which has caused some damage, but that is the worst of it really.

“The fire definitely started inside, but we are not sure how.

“We do not allow smoking in the rooms as it is a fire risk.

“The police are just doing their job in investigating the cause.”

The residents of Mermaid Lodge are people aged under 65 who have mental health disorders.

The care home caters for residents with a range of mental health needs.

Its specialist care categories are manic depression and schizophrenia.

It received a good rating in all areas in its latest Care Quality Commission inspection, which was carried out in April 2016.