Bristol

Bristol Premier Inn: Fire at hotel near Cribbs Causeway

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Media captionThe Premier Inn near Bristol caught fire overnight severely damaging it

Parts of a hotel ravaged by fire are continuing to collapse on to a major A-road, near to the M5.

The Premier Inn partially fell on the A4018 Cribbs Causeway, near Bristol, overnight and fire chiefs said "further elements" of the building had fallen on to the dual carriageway since.

Firefighters are still dealing with the blaze, which began on Wednesday afternoon.

Fire chiefs said conditions inside the hotel remained "extremely dangerous".

Smoke from the blaze led to warnings from the fire service during the night about visibility problems on the M5.

Local residents have been told to keep doors and windows shut because of smoke.

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Media captionParts of the Premier Inn near Bristol collapsed during the fire

Six crews and three turntable ladders remain at the scene of the blaze, which started at about 13:15 BST on Wednesday.

Justin Hobbs, from Avon Fire and Rescue, said it was possible they might need to increase the number of crews there again if small fires still burning in the building took hold.

He said the fire was not fully extinguished and there were pockets of flames still in the building.

Image copyright Avon Fire and Rescue
Image caption Further parts of the Premier Inn have fallen on to the A4018 Cribbs Causeway, near Bristol

"As the building collapses in, it becomes slightly more difficult for us to get water on to those areas," he said.

"It's extremely dangerous for our staff. Because the building has started to collapse we've had to go to what we call defensive firefighting.

"For the safety of staff and everybody else we can't go internally to try to put the fire out so we're applying water from turntables and monitors externally."

Fire officials have confirmed that all the guests staying at the hotel when the blaze broke out have now been accounted for.

Image copyright Avon and Somerset Police
Image caption A photo from a police drone shows the damaged shell of the Premier Inn at Cribbs Causeway, near Bristol
Image caption The fire can be seen from the nearby M5 and the Cribbs Causeway shopping centre

Footage released by Avon Fire and Rescue showed the moment two sides of the hotel collapsed.

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Laura Evans Hughes, who lives nearby, said she returned home on Wednesday evening to find she could not get to her house.

"I literally had to abandon my car, and I had to be police escorted to my house," she said.

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Media captionThe roof of the hotel collapsing during the blaze

"All last night I've been hearing bangs and crashes - I've just had to walk to my car now and the roof's still on fire."

She added the smoke was "thick and foggy" near her home in Catbrain Hill.

During the night the fire service said the blaze had spread, causing more smoke.

The A4018 Cribbs Causeway remains shut in both directions between Clifton Rugby Club and Lysander Road.

Road closures have led to traffic problems and long delays in the Filton and Southmead areas, and have been exacerbated by a protest being carried out by the Extinction Rebellion group at the nearby MoD site.

North Bristol NHS Trust tweeted that the ring road around Filton was gridlocked and advised patients and staff at Southmead Hospital to allow extra time for their journeys.

Buses heading towards Cribbs Causeway are stopping at Henbury, with First West of England providing shuttle buses to get people to their destinations via Avonmouth and the M5.

Image caption Avon Fire and Rescue said it was confident no-one was in the building at the time

The Mall shopping centre, which is two miles from the scene of the fire, is still open. Motorists can access it from junction 17 of the M5.

But other local businesses are closed. The Dick Lovett BMW showroom is diverting all telephone enquiries to other offices and said it was awaiting instructions about reopening from the emergency services.

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