Devon

Review of Royal Clarence Hotel fire report launched

Royal Clarence Hotel
Image caption The operation to tackle the fire cost £250,000 and involved more than 1000 fire fighters

A report into how fire crews responded to a blaze which destroyed a historic hotel is to be reviewed after concerns were raised about its independence.

The internal report examined the response to the fire that destroyed the Royal Clarence Hotel in Exeter in 2016.

The Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service has asked the National Fire Chiefs Council to oversee the review.

The request comes after a former fire officer accused bosses of "covering up" a missed opportunity to save the hotel.

The fire service denies any wrongdoing and says it hopes the review will reassure the public.

West Midlands Fire Service will produce the report.

In November, a BBC investigation discovered that evidence submitted by ex-firefighter Dave Jones, a sector commander who was on the scene, was not used to complete the report.

He advised that crews should be sent back into the hotel at a crucial time but this was not acted upon, or included in the report.

Mr Jones said he felt he was "not really being taken seriously, even though I was passing on relevant information".

Independent fire safety expert Alan Cox described the handling of the blaze as "a total failure".

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