COUNCIL chiefs say as many as 50 people are now homeless following a flats blaze.

Firefighters were called to Pankhurst Avenue in Brighton on Friday night at 8.35pm.

The building was evacuated as flames spread.

Witnesses said the blaze was "ferocious" and said firefighters struggled to bring it under control.

This morning, Brighton and Hove City Council has said as many as 50 people are homeless.


The authority said it is working with agencies including the Red Cross to meet people's immediate needs.

Relief efforts are being coordinated at The Edge Community Centre nearby.

The council says it is also working with the Guinness Trust, which is understood to have been the owner of the site.

Disruption to events at the racecourse are expected, as Freshfield Road remained closed off to traffic this morning.

The council said: "Yesterday evening the council worked closely with East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service to support residents following a large fire in a housing association block of flats on Pankhurst Avenue.

"No casualties were reported but at one stage between 40-50 people were helped in a rest centre in the Edge Community Centre.

"We believe everybody was able to find alternative accommodation with friends and family.

"There are a number of key events taking place in the city including at the nearby race course.

"There may be disruption to business and community events near the site and we’ll be working with the emergency services to do what we can to limit any adverse impacts."

Nearby properties were also evacuated, and residents have been told to keep away from the area for fears over falling debris.

Meanwhile the BBC reported that gas supplies to 20 properties in Pankhurst Avenue have been cut off, and are only likely to be restored after 48 hours.

A community Go Fund Me page has been set up online to raise money for those who have lost their homes. 

To donate visit

Have you been affected by the fire? Share your story. Call 01273 021383 or email