THE fire which gutted a flat in Gratwicke Road this morning (Monday, March 19) could have been caused by smoking materials.
Due to the extent of the damage, investigators from West Sussex Fire and Rescue service are still trying to determine the exact cause of the fire, however early indications are it could have been due to discarded smoking materials.
It is thought the incident was accidental.
Investigators also found the flat had two smoke alarms fitted, but neither of them had batteries in.
A spokesperson said: “Had the smoke alarms been in working order, the fire might have been detected a lot earlier and it could have saved a life.
“West Sussex Fire and Rescue service urges residents to ensure they have a working smoke alarm in their property and to make sure it is regularly tested.
“Testing your smoke alarm only takes a few minutes and can easily be incorporated into your weekly routine. Test your smoke alarm, not your luck.”