An off-duty firefighter ran into a burning block of flats to save a man who was trapped inside.

Kyle McClelland, 22, was on his way to visit his father in hospital when he spotted thick black smoke coming from the building in Donald Hall Road, Brighton, at about 5.40pm on Tuesday.

He ran to the scene and into the burning building with a member of the public but could not reach the flat because of the heat and smoke.

When fire crews arrived they found the trapped man hanging out of his window gasping for air so Mr McClelland grabbed a second ladder to help pull the man to safety.

The man passed out from the severe heat and smoke inhalation and was taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, for treatment.

Mr McClelland, who is a firefighter based at Lewes, a second firefighter and the member of the public were taken to hospital and treated for smoke inhalation but they suffered no permanent damage.

The fire is believed to have started in the bedroom of one of the flats. Although the blaze was contained to the room there was severe heat and smoke damage to the rest of the building, leaving it uninhabitable.

At its height, 24 firefighters and five pumps were tackling the flames.

A 27-year-old Brighton man has been arrested on suspicion of arson and was last night still being questioned by police.

Anyone with information should call Sussex Police on 0845 6070999, quoting serial 1520 of June 29, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.