COUNTY NEWS UPDATE: Ten people sent to hospital after ‘suspicious’ hospice fire

Ten terminally ill patients were sent to hospital after a fire at a Sussex hospice this morning (July 11).

Damage at St Michael's Hospice
Damage at St Michael's Hospice

Emergency services were called to St Michael’s Hospice in Upper Maze Hill, St Leonards, at around 1am.

The incident was immediately declared a ‘major incident’ by crews.

Six ambulances and six paramedic cars were sent to the scene along with patient transport crews and members of South East Coast Ambulance Service’s (SECAmb) HART team.

A spokesperson for SECAmb said there were no reports at the time of any serious injuries but five patients were taken to Conquest Hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.

They added another five were admitted to the same hospital later that morning.

However, a spokesperson for the Hospice said some of these patients were sent to the hospital as alternative means of accommodation and not because they were suffering from injuries related to the fire.

Alternative accommodation was also found in care homes across the area for 19 other patients by ambulance crews and members of staff at the hospice.

Police are now treating the blaze as ‘suspicious’ with a criminal investigation currently underway.

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