UK: The Claremont Hotel in the East Sussex town caught fire this morning, with six treated for minor injuries and one taken to hospital with reports of breathing difficulties.
Around 130 guests and members of staff were evacuated from the hotel after a fire broke out before 9am this morning.
12 fire engines were at the scene by 11:30am to tackle the flames at the seafront property.
The cause, which is yet to be investigated, is said to have “spread from the basement through to the upper floors,” according to Mark Andrews, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Services (ESFRS). “The wind also caused some additional challenges and we needed to take water from the sea”.
Andrews added: “This is a very serious incident and the fire took hold very quickly. There is considerable smoke in the area and we are advising people to keep doors and windows closed”.
“We will now work to ensure that the fire is completely put out. This will take several hours and so the roads in the area are likely to remain closed for the foreseeable future”.
The Grade-II listed building is said to be “seriously” damaged, and will need to be inspected before a decision is made on the property’s future.
George Brown, managing director of Daish’s Holidays, which owns the seafront property, said: “We are devastated at the loss of the hotel and will be working tirelessly to support everyone affected by the damage, including current and future guests, employees and local residents”.