The manager of the hotel adjoining the fire damaged Claremont says it will reopen when the cordon is lifted on Eastbourne seafront.
Christine Caulfield, the general manager of the Burlington Hotel, has thanked the fire and rescue service for the work they did when fire broke out at the Claremont on Friday November 22.
She said that being next to the blaze, her 159 room hotel faced a real danger it would also be engulfed in the flames.
She said at noon on the day of the fire, the fire officer informed her they’d know by 1pm whether or not the fire would spread to her Hotel.
The hotel manager said staff at the Burlington ‘did fine work in evacuating their 100 remaining guests quickly and efficiently along with all their luggage. Luckily a further 200 guests had left earlier that morning before the fire.
In addition the manager said however, they had to move fast through the day to try and contact the more than 100 new guests who were on their way to Eastbourne to stay in the hotel.
As many were travelling in their own cars, the manager said members of her team had to intercept those who head office hadn’t managed to contact directly as they arrived at Terminus Road.
Staff stayed on-point for hours in the rain until 9pm. Some visitors were moved to the Bulrington’s sister hotel in Eastbourne, The Majestic, and after that was full, The Cavendish also stepped in to help.
In addition staff at Harry Ramsden’s kept them ‘fortified with cups of tea and warmth well into the night as they shepherded the arriving guests to the other hotels’.
The Queens Hotel staff were very helpful as well through the day as they were at looking after the guests from The Claremont.
Christine said yesterday (Sunday) the Burlington is now ready for business - so all staff being securely kept on - and they are just waiting for the road to be declared safe to open by the emergency services and the councils building control team.