Hotels hit by major arson attack

SCORES of guests were evacuated from two hotels last night after a suspected arson attack on neighbouring building.

SCORES of guests were evacuated from two hotels last night after a suspected arson attack on neighbouring building.

People were forced to flee the Red Ruth and Ashworth Hotels after a derelict hotel in Nelson Road South, Great Yarmouth, burst into flames at about 9pm.

Police cordoned off the area as seven 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.

It is thought that people will not be able to return to their rooms for another 24 hours,

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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 and 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.”

Anyone who witnessed anything suspicious in Nelson Road South before the fire can call police on 0845 456 4567.

n Fire crews were also called to a scrapyard fire last nightwhich involved hazardous cylinders.

Five fire crews, including two from Suffolk, attended the incident in Station Road, Ellingham, at 6.38pm.

The fire involved rubbish behind an outdoor storage unit and cylinders believed to contain acetylene. Firefighters set up a 200m metre cordon and used a thermal imaging camera as they fought the blaze.

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