QUICK-THINKING youths phoned 999 and warned residents to evacuate their flats after a fire started in a building in Durrington.
Firefighters were called to a blaze at Larch Lodge, in Romany Road, just before 2am this morning (Wednesday, August 8).
Another youth phoned 999, after which three fire engines attended the blaze.
But by the time they arrived, the majority of residents had already evacuated the building after three youths, who had been walking past at the time, saw flames flickering in a first floor window and warned people about the fire.
Firefighters found the occupant of the flat where the fire had started still indoors, and they took him outside, where he was treated for smoke inhalation injuries.
He, along with another resident, was taken to Worthing Hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation, and a further nine people were evacuated.
Firefighters then put out the blaze, which is believed to have started accidentally, within an hour.
Darren Wickings, from blue watch, said: “It potentially could have turned into something more serious. But the thanks to the actions of those youths, it allowed us to concentrate on putting out the fire.”