Guests staying at the blazing hotel on Eastbourne seafront say the building was rocked by an explosion at breakfast time.
Jenny and Alan Powell were in the hotel’s dining room when there was an explosion at around 8.45am.
The couple are from Cheltenham and had been staying at the hotel for a Turkey and Tinsel break from Wednesday until Sunday.
Jenny said, “We heard and saw the explosion. A wall collapsed and there were people on the floor.
“We had to get out quickly. We were evacuated over to the pier.
“Everything is in our room. We could see the flames in our room from where we were standing outside.”
The couple went to a nearby charity shop to get warm clothes and have taken refuge along with other hotel guests at Eastbourne Town Hall.