Berkshire

Wokefield Park country hotel in Berkshire hit by major fire

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Media captionTwelve fire crews were sent to battle the blaze

Firefighters have been tackling a major fire at a Berkshire hotel.

The blaze at Wokefield Park broke out at about 17:30 GMT in a ground floor linen area and spread to the roof.

The hotel, made up of an 18th Century building and modern executive centre, sits in 250 acres of land and has a championship golf course.

Twelve fire engines were initially called to the hotel, near Mortimer, but they were scaled back to six at about 23:30, the fire service said.

Image copyright Paul King, The Wokingham Paper
Image caption A linen area on the ground floor is understood to be the source of the fire
Image caption The blaze initially took hold in newer buildings, the hotel said
Image caption Twelve fire engines, a water carrier and an aerial platform have been involved

Up to 100 guests of the hotel, part of the De Vere group, had been evacuated safely, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue group manager Chris Bunyan said.

'Flames flickering'

One of the guests, Keith Schofield, had been in his room watching TV when the alarm was raised.

He said: "It was manic. We came out of our rooms and were evacuated over to a meeting point.

"We could see the smoke coming out of the hotel and and flames flickering."

The fire service said, by midnight the fire had been "fully surrounded and under control".

"There are six fire appliances still on site and crews are damping down and checking for hotspots," Mr Bunyan said.

The service said the fire began in a newer building on the site.

A spokesman for the hotel company said: "We can confirm that there has been a fire within a section of Wokefield Park.

"Our priority at this time is the safety of our guests and staff and we are working very closely with the fire brigade who are on site now."

Image copyright Graham Horn
Image caption The 18th Century building sits in 250 acres of land

Fire engines that battled the blaze are from Whitley Wood, Dee Road, Caversham Road, Wokingham Road, Bracknell, Wokingham, Ascot and Newbury.

A further four are from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service.

A spokesman for South Central Ambulance said there were no reported casualties.

The hotel's modern executive centre has 222 bedrooms and 30 meeting rooms, along with a pool, gym and sauna.

The historic mansion house has 87 bedrooms, 21 meeting rooms and a restaurant.

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