FLAMES ripped through an empty town centre wine bar in what is being treated as an arson attack.
The fire took hold of the Terminus Road building, formerly The Lounge bar, opposite Eastbourne Railway Station, at around 12.30am on Wednesday (August 17).
Several people, including staff at The London and County pub, phoned firefighters as the resident from the first floor flat jumped ten feet from the burning building.
The 37-year-old man sustained a broken arm as he tried to escape and was also treated for the effects of smoke inhalation at Eastbourne DGH.
Residents from the flats next door were also helped to safety fire fighters and police officers.
Two fire appliances from Eastbourne and one from Pevensey attended the incident. An aerial ladder platform was also used and ten firefighters wore breathing apparatus as they fought the flames.
East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service fought the flames for more than three hours and the property was extensively damaged in the blaze.
Watch commander Kevin Sharpe said, “It was a severe fire and a rapid, hot fire which took hold very quickly.
“We had nine repeat 999 calls in the two minutes it took us to get from the station to the scene.”
Police cordoned off the area while forensic and fire investigators made enquiries. On Wednesday afternoon, the police announced the fire was being treated as arson and they keen to hear from anyone who was in the area at the time of the blaze.
Police say there were several separate seats of fire inside the premises and it is thought that entry had been forced through a rear door off Ivy Terrace.
Detective Sergeant Ross Bartlett said, “The building was unoccupied at the time and was seriously damaged.
“We are keen to hear from anyone who was in the area between around midnight and 12.30am who saw any suspicious activity.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Sussex Police on 0845 60 70 999, quoting serial 0033 of August 17.