Aberystwyth hotel fire: Search for missing guest continues

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Image source, Keith Morris

A search is continuing for a missing guest after a fire ripped through a four-star hotel on Aberystwyth's seafront.

Nine adults and three children were rescued when the blaze broke out at Ty Belgrave House, Marine Terrace, in the early hours of Wednesday.

The fire is out but the building will not be safe to enter until the end of next week as it is structurally unsafe.

Police and fire officers are now investigating the cause of the blaze.

Dyfed-Powys Police said officers are trying to contact the man's next of kin.

Fire crews were unable to get access to the damaged building on Wednesday so focused on making it structurally sound and putting scaffolding up to support exposed chimneys and walls.

Most of the hotel is believed to have been gutted and the fire spread to adjoining properties.

Many of the guests are thought to have escaped across balconies.

Media caption,
Drone footage as fire crews dampen down following the Aberystwyth seafront fire

Ceredigion council has started the clean-up operation around Aberystwyth's seafront and The British Red Cross has been supporting about 50 people affected by the blaze.

Most of these had been staying at the hotel next door, which was also evacuated, and include a coach party of Austrian tourists.

Rob Donovan, from the Red Cross, said: "Usually in these situations, people are helped by friends and family.

"They had none nearby, so our volunteers acted as their friends and family."

Help included enlisting a German speaker to translate, getting food and toiletries and supporting the tourists as they made their onward journey to Swansea.

Image source, Twitter/@MAWWChrisDavies
Image caption,
The building will not be safe to enter until the end of next week as it is structurally unsafe

The fire broke out at about 02:00 BST on Wednesday.

Two of the children rescued from the hotel were among five people taken to hospital by emergency services. Details about their conditions have not been released.

Hotel owner Emyr Davies said on Wednesday that the fire alarm system was "full and operational" and "seems to have worked as designed and alerted the residents".

Roger Thomas, assistant chief fire officer for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said every internal floor in the hotel had collapsed and that made access difficult as they tried to locate the missing person.

Image source, Ceredig Davies
Image caption,
Damage to the hotel was clear to see after the blaze was extinguished