Eastbourne hotel fire: Smoke from enormous blaze fills sky as flames rage through building

People are being told to stay away from Eastbourne seafront as firefighters battle an enormous blaze at a hotel today (Friday).

Friday, 22nd November 2019, 10:54 am
Updated Friday, 22nd November 2019, 12:11 pm

Black smoke can be seen billowing into the sky from across town as the flames continue to rip through the Claremont Hotel, in Grand Parade.

Crews were first called at 8.52am to reports of a fire in the basement of the hotel. The fire service says the hotel has been evacuated and everyone has been accounted for.

Photo by Nick Wakefield

ESFRS (East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service) said in a statement, “We are asking people to avoid Eastbourne seafront as firefighters tackle a serious fire.

“Twelve fire engines have been sent to the scene. Crews are using breathing apparatus and main jets to tackle the fire. Nearby roads are closed while the firefighters work.”

A later statement from the fire service urged residents to keep doors and windows closed to prevent excess smoke inhalation.

It said, “Twelve fire engines are on the scene along with several officers, aerial ladder platforms and command support units. We have also sent a high volume pump and a specialist fire-fighting foam vehicle from Newhaven.”

Photo by Ian Jackson SUS-191122-103546001

Our reporter at the scene said nearby hotels are also being evacuated due to fears of the fire spreading. Logan Macleod said windows at the hotel could be heard exploding.

Another witness at the scene said, “It’s absolutely huge. It started at the back of the hotel, now the whole front of the hotel is on fire. Loads of people are running around, there’s loads and loads of smoke.”

There are no reports of any injuries. Many of the seafront roads are currently shut off to motorists.

Photo by Logan MacLeod SUS-191122-103106001
Photo by Ian Jackson
Photo by Lewis Isted