Woman hurt in University of Sussex campus flats fire

A 20-year-old woman was treated by paramedic and 50 students had to be evacuated following a fire at University of Sussex accommodation.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said the student suffered smoke inhalation when she tried to put out a chip pan fire with a damp tea towel and fire blanket.

Security staff evacuated the Falmer campus building at 21:15 BST on Monday.

Crews wearing breathing apparatus extinguished the blaze.

About 30 minutes later firefighters were called back to the campus, near the A27, because another student had left food cooking while the evacuation was taking place.

'New student accommodation'

Watch commander Richard Chamberlain said: "A 20-year-old female student tried to put the fire out using a damp tea towel, as well as a fire blanket, but had to be treated for smoke inhalation by paramedics at the scene.

"It looked like she attempted to cover the pan with a tea towel, as well as a fire blanket, and may have even attempted to move the pan which is a big 'no, no'."

He said of the second call-out: "This is a fairly new block of student accommodation, with each kitchen shared by half a dozen flats and this involved a different kitchen.

"We would like to remind students that if they are evacuated to ensure they switch off their cooker and turn taps off before leaving the building."

A spokeswoman for the University of Sussex said: "All our campus student accommodation is equipped with fire alarms and fire blankets and our students and staff are given clear instructions about what to do in the event of a fire.

"These procedures were effective yesterday following the discovery of a kitchen fire in one of our newest accommodation blocks, Stanmer Court."

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