Fire engulfs hotel 'housing Ukrainian refugees'

Fire engulfs hotel ‘housing Ukrainian refugees’ and destroys the 400-year-old building after blaze ripped through it in the early hours

A 400-year-old market town hotel housing Ukrainian refugees including children has been destroyed by fire overnight – but somehow there appears to have been no casualties.

The Angel Inn in Midhurst, West Sussex, was among a number of buildings engulfed by a blaze in the early hours of this morning.

The fire was thought to have broken out shortly after 1am on Thursday at a property on North Street before spreading to the roof of the hotel next door. 

Local resident Hilton Holloway, who witnessed the fire, said that around 30 people, including some children, were evacuated from the hotel. 

Despite the scale and ferocity of the fire, no casualties have been reported. Around 70 firefighters are at the scene.

Fire has destroyed several buildings on North Street in Midhurst, West Sussex in the early hours of Thursday morning, including the historic Angel Inn (pictured)

Around 70 firefighters were fighting the blaze this morning

Ten fire engines, an aerial ladder platform, a water carrier and an off-road vehicle were at the scene

‘There were a number of Ukrainian refugees in the hotel, which had around 15 rooms,’ he said.

‘I spoke to one young woman who seemed relatively calm.’

Photos and video taken by Mr Holloway, who lives opposite the hotel, showed the spread of the fire from an adjoining building to the roof of the Angel Inn.

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Services called the fire ‘significant’. Ten fire engines, an aerial ladder platform, water carrier and off-road vehicle responded to the incident.

Shortly after 6am the fire service said the incident had ‘escalated’ and 14 fire engines were on the scene tackling the blaze.

‘Over 30 people have been evacuated from the building and firefighters are working hard to bring the fire under control,’ West Sussex Fire and Rescue Services said.

Witnesses said the fire spread to the historic hotel, and has destroyed its roof 

The blaze appears to have started in a smaller property but spread via the roof to buildings next door 

Speaking from the scene, Area Manager Richard Abbot advised commuters North Street would remain closed and asked the public to avoid the area.

‘It is too early in the incident to know the cause of the fire, however we will be investigating as soon as it is safe to do so,’ he said.

Sussex Police, which sent officers to the scene, warned road closures would be in place in the local area.

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