A “SEVERE” fire ripped through a ground floor flat.

People living in an apartment above noticed smoke billowing from the windows below and quickly called 999.

A witness said: “All I saw was smoke pouring out of the whole building. It was quite substantial, definitely a very severe fire.

The Argus:

“You never know if there is any risk of an explosion so I kept my distance.

“But the fire crews were amazing and worked incredibly quickly to bring it under control.”

Another witness said: “Somebody was shouting for help and I think they said something about a young girl being inside.

“I saw a man outside rush over to help then when he heard there might be somebody inside he kicked the door down to try and save them.”

The Argus:

Fire crews were called to the blaze in Tisbury Road, Hove, at 3.55pm.

Dan Anderson was visiting his friend Lousha Newington in an upstairs flat when he saw the smoke,

The 26-year-old said: “We went to leave the house to meet someone but then we heard a whizzing sound like an alarm.

“As we left the front door I noticed there was smoke coming from the window and you could see flames inside. So we called the fire brigade, but then someone said there might be a baby girl inside.

“My immediate reaction was that I just wanted to get the baby out so I kicked the door down.

The Argus:

“I ran inside and there was thick black smoke everywhere so I shouted to see if there was anybody in there.

“Then I checked to see that there was nobody inside, but it was empty.”

Fire, police and ambulance services arrived shortly afterwards and blocked off the road at both ends while crews fought the blaze.

An East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “There was an accidental fire in a ground floor flat in Tisbury Road, Hove.

“We were called at 3.55pm and attended the scene with four appliances to extinguish the fire. The fire started in a bedroom.”

Most emergency services left the scene at about 6.30pm and upstairs neighbours were allowed back into their homes.

The Argus:

After the fire the front windows of the flat were left smashed and shards of glass could be seen on the windowsill and ground below.

Inside there was the remains of furniture which had been heavily damaged by the fire.