Video: Falmouth Beach Hotel fire – police appeal to 'missing' guests

Video: Falmouth Beach Hotel fire – police appeal to 'missing' guests

Devon & Cornwall police have indicated that three guests are still unaccounted for, following the fire that ravaged the Falmouth Beach Hotel yesterday.

It was reported that hotel staff and around 30 guests, including Blur guitarist Graham Coxon, were evacuated from the Best Western hotel after a fire broke out around midday.

At the time, 12 guests were unaccounted for - believed to have gone on day trips. While nine have since made contact, the remaining three have not been heard from.

A spokesperson from Devon & Cornwall Police said there was nothing to suggest the guests had come to harm.

"It is likely they have gone out on day trips but police would like these individuals to make themselves known to officers at the scene or to call police on 101 to confirm they are safe and well," a statement said.

More than 100 firefighters using 10 fire engines tackled a blaze, but strong winds hindered their efforts to bring it under control. The fire spread through the building and caused the roof to collapse.

As a result, around 100 guests were also evacuated from neighbouring hotel the St Michael's. Its owner, Nigel Carpenter, told the BBC that the loss of his neighbouring hotel was a "knock for Falmouth", adding: "It is 120 rooms out of the town for the foreseeable future."

Carpenter said his staff were "hoping to start our clean-up when we are allowed back in".

Firefighters took more than seven hours to bring the fire under control but crews remained at the hotel on Monday night in order to damp down hot spots.

Ben Young, manager of the nearby Falmouth Hotel, which provided accommodation for some of those left without room, said that some holiday-makers had been left with "literally no possessions" as a result of the fire.

"Those that have been out all day came back to find that all their possessions had gone," he said. "There were also those who were due to check in who had nowhere to check into."

The family-run Falmouth Beach Hotel, which opened in 1984, became part of the Best Western group of hotels in 2000.

A Best Western spokesperson said hotel accommodation had been found within Falmouth for people who were due to stay at the Falmouth Beach this week, while the hotel's event co-ordinator had also begun to contact couples who were due to celebrate their weddings at the property.

Geoffrey Evans, mayor of Falmouth, said the fire was a disaster for the town and "couldn't have happened at a worse time". Next month the seaside town is due to host the Finn Cup sailing competition and is one of the towns to welcome the Olympic Torch on the first day of its relay throughout the UK.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this stage and investigation has begun.

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By Janie Manzoori-Stamford

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