A MAN has been arrested for arson after a fire in a high rise block of flats.

The 27-year-old from man Brighton has been arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life after the fire in Wiltshire House in Lavender Street, Brighton, at 6.45am yesterday.

The Argus:

He has been released under investigation.

Residents in the 17-storey tower woke to the smell of smoke from the blaze on the fifth floor.

One person was rescued from his balcony as firefighters battled the flames.

Resident Lee Hawthorn, 47, who lives on the second floor, said: “You always worry about this sort of thing after Grenfell obviously.

“This is the second time this has happened in a couple of months.

“In December there was an attempted arson but they never got the guy.

“It’s very scary.”

The Argus:

Pictures from the scene reveal the extent of the damage to one of the flats.

Police stood guard outside the charred remains of a door yesterday morning, waiting for a forensic team to investigate the scene.

There was a strong smell of smoke and damp on the fifth, sixth and seventh floors.

The Argus:

Another resident, who did not want to be named. said: “I live on the 14th and woke up to a strong smell of burning plastic.

“I looked out the window and saw lots of fire engines and an ambulance.”

The road was closed while emergency services dealt with the incident.

But there was no major evacuation and the fire was under control by 7.45am

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said engines were sent from Preston Circus, Hove, Lewes, and Newhaven.

The Argus:

The resident added: “It was very concerning as I didn’t know what was going on.

“I’ve spoken with my neighbours and we’re all very concerned as it seems like the same thing that happened in December.”

An emergency residents meeting is being held tonight at 7.30pm.

A Sussex Police spokesman said: "About 7.13am on Sunday February 3, police were called by East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service to a report of a fire at a block of flats in Lavender Street, Brighton. 

"The fire, believed to have been caused deliberately, was in the communal area. 

"One resident was rescued from his balcony by firefighters, however no other flats were affected and there was no requirement for an evacuation.

"A 27-year-old man from Brighton has been arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life and released under investigation pending further enquiries. "

A flat in Wiltshire House was targeted by an arsonist on December 8.

A person, who was caught on CCTV, posted a burning package through a letterbox at 2.20am.

At the time Detective Constable Tom Coll said: “This was an unbelievably dangerous act that could easily have tragic consequences for the occupants of the block of flats.”