Mid Wales

Aberystwyth hotel fire: Fears for guest missing after blaze

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Media captionFootage of the scene was captured by Rose Voon

One person - believed to be a guest - is missing after a serious fire broke out at a hotel on Aberystwyth seafront.

Nine adults and three children were rescued by firefighters after the blaze broke out at the four-star Ty Belgrave House hotel in Marine Terrace.

The fire service said crews were still unable to gain access to the building but confirmed an adult was missing.

Two of the children are among five who were taken to hospital, but their condition is unknown.

British Red Cross volunteers are giving "practical and emotional support" to 33 people affected by the fire, the organisation's Rob Donovan said.

They are providing help at another hotel in the town and toiletries and clothing have been provided by a local supermarket.

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Media captionDrone footage as fire crews dampen down following the Aberystwyth seafront fire

The hotel's owner Emyr Davies said the fire alarm system was "full and operational" and "seems to have worked as designed and alerted the residents" to the blaze.

He added some people were forced to leave the building via the fire escape and said those who got out "suffered no serious injuries" but had a "frightening experience".

The fire started at about 02:20 BST and spread to adjoining properties but is now understood to be under control, with crews there damping down.

The road has been closed between the old magistrates' court and the pier.

Damage to the hotel appears to be extensive.

Image copyright Twitter/@MAWWChrisDavies

Roger Thomas, assistant chief fire officer for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, told BBC Wales: "The fire has gone from the ground floor up to the roof.

"Each of the internal floors has collapsed so at the present time we're unable to gain access to the building to establish exactly whether there is somebody in there and whether we can find that person.

"There were five casualties taken to hospital. Two of those were children as we understand it. Very little information has come out from the hospital in terms of the condition of the casualties".

Image copyright Ceredig Davies
Image caption The damage to the roof was clear in the morning
Image copyright Google
Image caption This photo was taken of the hotel in June 2017

The fire service sent 12 appliances to the scene and a spokesman said five people were taken to hospital as a precaution.

He also confirmed one person "remains unaccounted for" and crews were "working hard to prevent further fire damage".

Public Health Wales has advised people in the area to keep their doors and windows closed and to shut off their air conditioning units.

Image copyright Wales USAR Team
Image caption A drone was used by the fire service
Image caption Fire crews were still damping down the fire at about 10:30

Earlier, the fire service said 14 people were evacuated.

Daisy Wright, who lives near the hotel, said she saw fire crews and police officers helping people off the balcony.

She said: "To start with it looked like a very small isolated fire - you could only see smoke.

"Within an hour there were flames coming from the roof and then it seemed like the whole hotel was coming up in flames.

"It was quite nerve wracking because there was a lot of smoke."

Some businesses on the seafront have been forced to close because of the fire, apologising to customers.

Image copyright Twitter/@NewtownFireStn
Image caption The buildings have been described as "skeletons" after the fire
Image copyright Twitter @conradscab
Image caption The fire could be seen from across the town on Wednesday morning

The work to limit the damage of the blaze has also caused problems in the town.

Councillor Ceredig Davies said: "There is total confusion in the town because the fire service have had to bring water across town from the Vicarage Fields [about one mile away] using nine-inch pipes and cars can't drive over them."

Image copyright Rose Voon
Image caption Several appliances were sent to the blaze overnight

Chris Jones, who works at the Premier Inn on the same street, said the Belle Vue Royal Hotel, which is next to Ty Belgrave House, had also been affected by the fire.

He told BBC Radio Wales that there "wasn't much left" of Ty Belgrave House, with "just the first floor" remaining.

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