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27 November 2019, 18:30
Firefighters have returned to a hotel in Eastbourne after part of it collapsed following a huge fire.
The Claremont Hotel, a Grade II-listed Victorian building, was engulfed in flames on Friday after a blaze broke out in the basement.
At the height of the blaze, 12 fire engines from two counties were at the hotel on the East Sussex coast.
Six people were treated for minor injuries and one person was taken to Eastbourne Hospital with breathing difficulties, the ambulance service said.
It was handed back to owners Daish's Holidays on Tuesday, but crews returned to the site on Wednesday afternoon after part of the building collapsed.
A spokesman for the fire service said: "We currently have firefighters back on scene at the Claremont in Eastbourne.
This is how the #Claremont in #Eastbourne looks this morning. Thanks for your ongoing patience as we continue our operation. Please avoid the area while we work alongside other agencies to isolate the gas supply to the building. https://t.co/pDbAOwg94K pic.twitter.com/lPXNEal3YR— East Sussex FRS (@EastSussexFRS) November 23, 2019
"Part of the building has collapsed. Building control are on scene.
"The building remains unstable. Please avoid the area. Cordons are still in place."
Following the fire, hotel staff were praised by firefighters for their quick thinking in getting all guests clear of the building.
We currently have firefighters back on scene at the #Claremont in #Eastbourne. Part of the building has collapsed. Building Control are on scene. The building remains unstable. Please avoid the area. Cordons are still in place. pic.twitter.com/SYIRB1GJpA— East Sussex FRS (@EastSussexFRS) November 27, 2019
After the blaze, Daish’s Holidays group managing director George Brown said: "We are devastated at the loss of the hotel and will be working tirelessly to support everyone affected by the damage, including current and future guests, employees and local residents.
"We would like to thank the emergency services, the local community and businesses for their support at this difficult time, in particular the Pier Hotel, Afton Hotel and Queens Hotel, who kindly took in our guests and supported our team with looking after our guests.
“Guests who were due to check into the hotel in the near future have been contacted by Daish's Holidays, and we are in the process of informing guests who have hotel bookings over the coming days, weeks and months, to assist them with alternative arrangements.
"It is clear that this fire has caused significant damage to the Claremont Hotel, a Grade II Listed building which is not only one of our most popular hotels, but also a prominent and historic Eastbourne landmark."