Sussex

Hastings fire: Woman who fell 40ft 'in serious condition'

Pirkko Pellinen Image copyright Handout
Image caption Miss Pellinen jumped from a second-floor window of a building in Marine Parade

A woman who jumped 40ft from a burning building in Hastings on Sunday remains in a serious but stable condition, police have said.

Three people had attempted to catch Pirkko Pellinen as she tried to escape the blaze at a property in Marine Parade in the Old Town.

The 66-year-old dentist remains in a Brighton hospital having suffered spinal, pelvic and ankle injuries.

Sussex Police are still investigating the cause of the fire.

However, they have said they are treating the blaze as unexplained rather than suspicious at this time.

'Break her fall'

Six properties were seriously damaged by the fire, which was first reported at about 00:35 BST on Sunday.

Miss Pellinen, who moved to Hastings from Finland in 2003, is being treated at the Royal Sussex County Hospital.

She jumped from a second-floor window of one of the buildings and fell into an alleyway below.

Image copyright Eddie Mitchell
Image caption The 66-year-old dentist suffered spinal, pelvic and ankle injuries in the fall

Police have appealed for those who tried to help her to contact them.

Det Sgt Suzy Joseph said: "We would like to speak to any witnesses, and in particular to three people, believed to be men, who held out a bed sheet or duvet the woman had thrown down, to try to break her fall."

About 35 other people were escorted from the buildings.

Those evacuated from their homes were initially taken to the Boat House on Hastings seafront and then transferred to the East Hastings Sea Angling Association.

Hastings Borough Council said those affected will be rehomed.

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