Scores evacuated as hotel fire rages

FIREFIGHTERS were continuing to monitor the smouldering remains of a former hotel this morning following a serious fire. Scores of guests were evacuated from two hotels after a suspected arson attack on a neighbouring building in Great Yarmouth.

FIREFIGHTERS were continuing to monitor the smouldering remains of a former hotel this morning following a serious fire.

Scores of guests were evacuated from two hotels after a suspected arson attack on a neighbouring building in Great Yarmouth.

People were forced to flee the Red Ruth and Ashworth Hotels after a derelict three-storey building - a former hotel - in Nelson Road South burst into flames shortly before 8.50pm yesterday.

Police cordoned off the area as ten fire crews battled the blaze which started at the third floor of the rear of the empty hotel and spread to its roof.

Anxious guests from the hotels and onlookers watched from the street as firemen used a hydraulic crane and ladder to control the fire, which is believed to have been started deliberately.

The police said that no one was injured during the fire and subsequent evacuation and that up to 40 hotel guests would be put up in the nearby Marina Centre.

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In total 55 guests were put up elsewhere.

Insp Alan Gibbs said: “Obviously this was a very serious fire and we are lucky that no one was hurt or killed.”

Phillip Harsley, 54, who was evacuated from the Red Ruth, said: “I heard a fire alarm going off and left the hotel. I could see smoke rising from next door and saw people milling around in the street.

“But no one panicked and everyone was orderly as they were left or were evacuated.”