Great Trethew Manor Country Hotel catches fire

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Media captionAerial footage of the fire shows extensive damage to the roof

A fire at a three-storey Cornwall manor house hotel was so fierce that firefighters have had to be withdrawn for their own safety.

Smoke was reported coming from the roof of the Great Trethew Manor Country Hotel in Horningtops, near Liskeard, at about 12:30 BST.

At it height, about 50 firefighters from the Cornwall and the Devon and Somerset fire services were tackling the blaze.

There were no reports of injuries.

'Intense' heat

Station officer Mark Salter, of Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, said the fire - which began on the second floor and later spread to the roof - was extremely dangerous.

"The fire was very well developed and spreading rapidly," he said.

"We tried to deploy firefighters internally, but the temperatures were so extreme and so intense that it was too great a risk

"As a result of the intense heat and the weakened structure which the fire service encountered, we had to withdraw crews to a defensive firefighting stance."

He said crews tackled the fire using high-pressure hoses through open doors and windows.

Cornwall Fire Service said it planned to start scaling back the number of crews and equipment at the scene from about 22:30, but two engines would remain overnight.

An investigation into the cause was due to start on Wednesday, it added.

An eyewitness from the neighbouring Great Trethew Manor Riding Stables described the fire as "really bad", while others told BBC Cornwall there were plumes of smoke 100ft (30m) high.

The manor house is a family-run hotel with holiday cottages and camping within its 40 acre grounds.

It was fully booked, but most of the guests were out when the fire started.

Nearby residents have offered temporary accommodation for some of the guests.

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