POLICE are investigating a fire which has devastated a ground floor flat.

Firefighters fro Brighton were called to Sussex Street, Hanover at 3.10am.

Neighbours said they heard a loud bang and saw smoke billowing from the property.

Stephen Knights, who says he lived in the flat, said he has lost everything in the flames.

He told The Argus he had gone out at midnight, and returned to see the firefighters tackling the blaze.

The Argus:

Now he said he will need to be found new accommodation.

He said: "I'm gutted, everything I own was in there. I had artwork on the wall, it has all been destroyed.

"I had gone out, and came back to see the firefighters. I was really shocked.

"The housing association says it will put me in temporary accommodation.

"I really loved the flat, and want to make a new start again there. I was lucky, but I can always start again."

The ground floor flat was on fire, and crews used foam, specialist breathing masks and a hose reel jet to tackle the blaze.

One man was treated by the ambulance service for the effects of smoke.

Meanwhile police scene of crime investigation officers (SOCOs) have launched an inquiry.

One neighbour said: "We were woken by the flashing blue lights and sirens, my partner heard a bang and heard someone outside saying 'oh my god, oh my god'.

"Smoke was billowing out of the windows, it was like a bonfire."

One man passing by said: "It's lucky no one was hurt, it could have been nasty."

Police attended the scene this morning to photograph the damage to the flat, which has been gutted in the blaze.

The fire brigade said: "Firefighters were called to a residential property in Sussex Street, Brighton, following reports of a fire at a ground floor flat.

"Crews used foam and breathing apparatus and a hose reel jet to extinguish the flames.

"One man was handed into the care of the ambulance service after suffering from the effects of smoke inhalation.

The Argus:

"Crews left the scene at 4.45am, police are in attendance and have taken over, with Soco officers there."

A picture from the scene shows the devastation at the ground floor flat.

The ambulance service said a person was checked for smoke inhalation, but did not need to go to hospital.

Police are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information about the circumstances of the fire to come forward.

Anyone with information can report it to Sussex Police online or call 101 and quote reference 131 of 20/09.

Have you been affected by the fire? Share your story. Call 01273 021383 or email aidan.barlow@theargus.co.uk