A fire is currently raging through what is believed to be one of England's oldest hotels, the four-AA-star, 53 bedroom Abode Exeter.
All guests and staff were safely evacuated from the property this morning after the blaze is believed to have spread from an adjoining art gallery overlooking Exeter Cathedral.
A spokesperson for Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service described the fire as "very challenging" due to the many concealed voids and passageways throughout the Grade II building, which was built in 1769 as Assembly Rooms. The building became a hotel in 1776.
There are currently 27 fire pumps and four aerial appliances at the scene, along with police and paramedics. The emergency service were called soon after 5am.
Photo by Apex
A spokesperson for Andrew Brownsword Hotels said: All our guests and staff were evacuated and all are safe and accounted for. We are continuing to monitor the situation and all those affected by the fire.
"We are contacting guests due to stay or dine with us today, or those with enquiries can call: 01392 319 955."
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