Hotel housing Ukrainian refugees including children destroyed in huge blaze

16 March 2023, 09:49

The fire broke out in West Sussex overnight
The fire broke out in West Sussex overnight. Picture: PA
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

A 400-year-old hotel hosting Ukrainian refugees, including children, was destroyed in a huge fire overnight.

The blaze broke out at a property on North Street in West Sussex at around 1am on Thursday morning before spreading to the roof of the Angel Inn hotel next door.

Local resident Hilton Holloway, who witnessed the fire, said around 30 people, including some children, were evacuated from the hotel, though there have been no casualties.

A fire broke out at the Angela Inn in West Sussex overnight
A fire broke out at the Angela Inn in West Sussex overnight. Picture: PA
Firefighters' work continued into this morning
Firefighters' work continued into this morning. Picture: PA

"There were a number of Ukrainian refugees in the hotel, which had around 15 rooms," he said.

"I spoke to one young woman who seemed relatively calm."

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Photos and video taken by Mr Holloway, who lives opposite the hotel, showed the spread of the fire from an adjoining building to the roof of the Angel Inn.

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Services called the fire "significant".

"Over 30 people have been evacuated from the building and firefighters are working hard to bring the fire under control," West Sussex Fire and Rescue Services said.

The fire is believed to have started out at a nearby property
The fire is believed to have started out at a nearby property. Picture: PA

Speaking from the scene, Area Manager Richard Abbot said: "It is too early in the incident to know the cause of the fire, however we will be investigating as soon as it is safe to do so."

Ten fire engines, an aerial ladder platform, water carrier and off-road vehicle responded to the incident, though a number of these were stood down later on Thursday morning.

Sussex Police, which sent officers to the scene, warned road closures would be in place in the local area.

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