A fire at a hospital is being investigated by detectives amid fears it may be linked to three other suspected arson attacks.

Patients and visitors were evacuated from Crawley Hospital in West Sussex following a fire in a sixth-floor store cupboard on Comet ward.

No-one was injured but during the blaze a small amount of cash was stolen from a till in the hospital restaurant, Sussex Police said.

Detectives are examining whether the fire, which took place at 1.30pm on Tuesday, is linked to three other fires in Brighton, East Sussex.

The first suspected arson in the city happened at the Royal Albion Hotel in Old Steine at 2pm on Sunday and the second fire at 12 noon the following day at the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery.

The third blaze broke out at the Sea Life Centre in the city, also on Monday, at around 4.30pm. Police said the fires were all small but when staff returned to the buildings, cash had vanished from tills.

A police spokesman said: “Damage was very limited and there were no injuries, but detectives at Brighton and Crawley are actively investigating the circumstances of each incident and are pursuing joint lines of inquiry, but are currently keeping an open mind as to whether there are definite links between them.”

Anyone with information about the fires is asked to call Sussex Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.