Arson inquiry after Blackpool Promenade hotel fire

A fire which forced the evacuation of a Blackpool hotel may have been started deliberately, the fire service said.

About 126 people were moved from the Queens Hotel on Monday evening after fire broke out in the basement.

Hotel staff have been praised by the council for their swift response in helping arrange alternative accommodation for guests.

Several roads around the area were closed during the fire and an inquiry into the cause is under way.

A spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service told the BBC that initial examinations suggested it may have been started deliberately.

Firefighters were called to reports of the fire at the Promenade hotel at about 1720 BST on Monday.

Staff response

Up to 30 firefighters were involved in the operation and were forced to break through the floor of the building to douse the flames.

The fire gutted the basement of the building and caused severe damage to several downstairs rooms.

The majority of guests were taken to Palatine Sports Centre while crews tackled the fire.

Sarah Dean, the council's contingencies manager, said the Queens Hotel already had contingency plans in place which meant new accommodation was found in under two hours.

"This is a superb response from staff who must have obviously been under a lot of stress and pressure.

"It shows excellent contingency planning on the part of the management and they must be congratulated.

"We will be speaking with the management as part of our debrief and will be looking at their plans with the hope of sharing them with other Blackpool Hotels as best practice."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites