Birmingham & Black Country

Willenhall Holiday Inn ravaged in huge fire

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Media captionWillenhall Holiday Inn has been 'almost completely destroyed' in a fire

A Holiday Inn has been ravaged by fire that tore through hotel rooms and sent up smoke that could be seen from miles around.

The building has been almost completely destroyed, according to one emergency crew.

More than 50 firefighters fought the "severe" blaze at the hotel in Walsall close to the M6 motorway.

The fire is believed to have started in the sauna at the site on Wolverhampton Road West in Willenhall at 15:50 BST.

Neil Griffiths, incident commander at the scene, said the blaze caused "devastation".

He said: "We want to restore everything back to normality, find out what the cause of the fire is... and we are going to be here for a considerable amount of time due to the size of the building.

"The smoke shouldn't affect any of the surrounding houses but it would be advisable, if you're in the vicinity, to keep your windows and doors shut for the rest of the evening."

Image copyright West Midlands Ambulance Service
Image caption The hotel says all staff and guests are accounted for

Hotel staff evacuated the two-storey building and carried out a roll call, according to West Midlands Fire Service.

A Holiday Inn spokesperson said: "We can confirm that our guests and employees have been accounted for and no-one has been injured."

Image copyright @KennettPhoto
Image caption Intense flames could be seen at the building's windows

Footage shared by emergency services shows burnt-out sections of the roof and fierce flames.

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Media captionFirefighters tackle blaze at Willenhall Holiday Inn

Crews informed Highways England of the fire due to a large amount of smoke close to junction 10 of the M6.

There have been no reports of major traffic disruption, although police are understood to be overseeing road closures close to the site.

Image copyright @Lisa_McNally1
Image caption This photograph of the smoke was taken by a passenger in a car on the M6

West Midlands Ambulance Service - which shared drone footage of the surrounding area - said the building was almost completely destroyed.

According to social media reports, smoke could be spotted from Wolverhampton city centre and Romsley in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire.

Image copyright @Tauruswoman2
Image caption Smoke as it looked neighbouring the scene

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