Three people were rescued from a fire at their West Sussex home early today.

Fire crews were called to the blaze in a terraced three-storey house in Bayford Road, Littlehampton, at about 1.30am.

They arrived to find smoke billowing from the ground floor and people trapped on the upper floors.

They used breathing equipment to enter the house and lead them to safety. No one was injured.

The building's fire alarm system had failed to go off.

Investigators think the blaze was caused by a cooker which was left turned on when the owner went to bed.

Station Officer Trevor Worsfold said: "Had the fire alarm been working, the residents would have been alerted far sooner and would have been able to leave."