Families had to be evacuated late at night when a car blew up in the harbour in a suspected arson attack.
Residents said a car exploded in the car park below the Pacific Heights South building in Golden Gate Way and flames quickly spread to other vehicles.
The incident happened at around 10pm on Sunday (December 1) and saw three people treated for smoke inhalation.
Among those evacuated included families with young babies.
As firefighters tackled flames neighbours rallied to make hot drinks for those who had been evacuated. Police are investigating the incident.
Philip Ede, who leaves in the block of flats but was away at the time, said, “I was told a car exploded in the car park and that led to other cars next to it catching fire.
“If someone was in the car park at the time they could have been seriously hurt or worse.
“I’m just grateful no-one was hurt and would like to thank the emergency services for their prompt action.”
Ian Weeks, of Golden Gate Mews, said he heard alarms go off, followed by a bang. “I heard the car alarm followed by the fire alarm from the apartments and looked out the window and could see smoke coming from the undercroft.”
A crew from Eastbourne was sent to the scene to deal with the blaze which involved four cars and several bicycles.
The team was there until 11.05pm and a paramedic car and ambulance also attended.
Three people were treated for smoke inhalation but no-one required hospital treatment.