A hotel on the Isle of Wight partially collapsed after a fire broke out during a wedding reception on Saturday night.

Fire investigators are trying to find out if a firework display held during the reception at the 18-bedroom Ryde Castle hotel in Ryde was responsible for the blaze. All the guests and staff were safely evacuated from the hotel and no one was hurt.

Around 50 fire fighters from the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service tackled the blaze, which broke out at about 10pm. The crew were withdrawn from the building just prior to the collapse.

Originally a Victorian family home, the hotel, which overlooks Ryde Esplanade and Harbour, is one of 54 hotels within Old English Inns, a division of Greene King. During the First World War it was used as a wartime hospital and during the Second World War it was an army headquarters.

A spokesperson for Greene King said that all fire procedures were followed and the company was currently co-operating fully with the fire service as they investigated the cause of the blaze. “The hotel will be closed for the foreseeable future and our priority right now is to ensure that our guests, both current and future, are looked after and to make alternative arrangements for them.”

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By Janet Harmer

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