VIDEO SPECIAL: Firefighters tackle Fortfield inferno

LATEST: Flames extinguished in hotel blaze horror

HUGE flames that threatened to engulf Sidmouth’s derelict Fortfield Hotel and nearby properties were brought under control by more than 80 firefighters last night.

Brave rescuers extinguished the blaze after a five hour battle that saw the town come to a standstill.

Thirty per cent of the building’s roof and top floor and ten per cent of its third floor were severely damaged by the fire.

At the height of the blaze two aerial ladder platforms, four jets, one compressed air foam jet, four breathing apparatus and ladders were in use.

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This morning (Friday, December 31) two fire engines and an aerial ladder platform remained at the scene dampening down hot spots.

Police attended the incident and closed the road along the seafront to enable crews to lay hose from the mouth of the River Sid more than a mile away.

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A local authority structural engineer attendanded to assess the building.

A Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: “Fire Control received over 30 calls reporting a hotel fire at the above address. Initially four fire engines from Sidmouth, Ottery St Mary and Middlemoor were sent to the incident along with the aerial ladder platform from Exeter and the incident command unit from Exmouth.

“A further two fire engines from Budleigh Salterton and Seaton and the hose layer from Honiton were sent to the east end of The Esplanade to supplement water supplies to the incident by carrying out a water relay.

“On arrival, the crews reported the fourth floor and roof of the hotel well alight and requested further resources. In total, twelve fire engines from across East Devon attended the incident.

“This also included the following special appliances; two Aerial Ladder Platforms from Exeter and Taunton, a Hose Layer from Honiton, a water bowser from Exeter, incident command unit from Exmouth, Incident Support Unit from Crediton and the High Volume Pumping Unit from Special Operations, Exeter.”

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