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Peckforton Castle: Groom remanded over hotel fire

Peckforton Castle
Image caption Peckforton Castle is a luxury wedding venue and has been used as a film set

A bridegroom has been remanded in custody over a fire at a country house hotel in Cheshire.

Max Kay, 36, of Waylands Drive in Hunts Cross, Liverpool, was charged with two counts of arson before South Cheshire magistrates in Crewe.

The blaze broke out at Peckforton Castle, near Tarporley, just before 0500 BST on Sunday.

The property developer and father of two is due to appear at Chester Crown Court on 26 July.

Wedding party

He is charged with arson with intent to destroy or damage property and to endanger life and arson reckless as to whether life is endangered.

The court heard he was the groom from a wedding party which was using the hotel at the time of the fire.

The Grade I listed property, a 19th Century country house built in the style of a castle, is used as a hotel and venue for weddings and conferences.

All staff and about 70 guests at the hotel were safely evacuated with the help of 100 firefighters.

More than 20 fire engines were at the scene on Sunday with Cheshire Fire Service assisted by colleagues from Merseyside, Shropshire and North Wales.

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