Patients evacuated from hospice after 'suspicious' fire

Police have launched a criminal investigation Credit: Eddie Mitchell

Dozens of patients have been evacuated from a hospice on fire in St Leonards, East Sussex.

Emergency services declared a major incident in the early hours of Saturday morning (11 July), as they tackled the 'significant' fire at the St. Michael's Hospice.

Five patients were taken to Conquest Hospital in Hastings, suffering from smoke inhalation and problems caused by pre-existing illnesses.

Nineteen other patients were treated at the scene and taken to nearby care homes to be re-housed in suitable accommodation for the night.

Patients have been temporarily re-homed at other care homes Credit: Eddie Mitchell

Sussex Police are treating the fire as 'suspicious' and have launched a criminal investigation.

Firefighters are continuing with damping down the hospice.