Norfolk

Attleborough's Breckland Lodge to be rebuilt after blaze

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Media captionAttleborough Breckland Lodge fire: Drone captures hotel devastation

A "landmark" hotel and restaurant gutted by fire will be rebuilt, vowed one of its directors.

More than 70 firefighters were called to Breckland Lodge, next to the A11 at Attleborough, on Tuesday - with plumes of smoke seen for miles.

Firefighters finally left at 01:00 GMT on Wednesday after 16 hours at the scene.

Co-director and manager Colin Kilby said: "Let us be thankful no-one was hurt - the building can be rebuilt."

Image caption Firefighters stayed at the scene until the early hours of Wednesday damping down the gutted building
Image copyright Niall Ray
Image caption Eyewitness Niall Ray said a pillar of smoke could be seen for miles ahead as he approached the A11 landmark

Mr Kilby, who has worked at Breckland Lodge for 35 years, was there when the fire ravaged the coffee lounge and restaurant, and said he was shocked by how quickly it took hold.

"It was heart-breaking to see it go up," he said.

"We are now having lots of meetings to see where we go from here.

"I was humbled by the response from people yesterday - it's a landmark for lots of people and I would like to thank them all immensely for their support."

The site of Breckland Lodge consists of a 33-room hotel, the Stag pub, restaurant and coffee lounge in separate buildings, which range from 100 to five years old.

The ninety people who work at the lodge will keep their jobs, it has been confirmed.

"All their futures are 100% secure and we will continue to pay them," said Mr Kilby.

"They are our future and they were brilliant yesterday."

Image caption The blaze spread into the roof space after the alarm was raised at about 09:20 GMT
Image caption Breckland Lodge said it would know more about its plans for the future next week

Guests with bookings for the hotel and restaurant were in the process of being contacted, as this data was off-site.

Although the hotel building mainly escaped unscathed, Mr Kilby said any plans for the site's reopening would not be known until next week.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service said the cause of the fire was not yet known and an investigation was under way.

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