Fire at Falmouth Beach Hotel
A massive fire has today gutted much of Best Western's Falmouth Beach Hotel.
The hotel raised the alarm with fire services at 12.10pm this afternoon.
Ten pumps and 100 firefighters battled the fire which started on the third floor of the hotel. Staff and guests from both the Falmouth Beach Hotel and neighbouring St Michael's Hotel have been evacuated.
A dozen police officers are also in attendance. There are no reported casualties.
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Cliff Road has been closed at the junction of Spernen Wyn Road and Fenwick Road.
Musician Graham Coxon of Blur, who was staying at the hotel, said on Twitter "We have rooms at the beach hotel and had to leave when the smell of smoke", adding later "We had to leave the foyer and then watch it get worse and worse... rather sad."
He is due to perform at Falmouth's Princess Pavilion later this evening.
The mayor of Falmouth, Geoffrey Evans, told the BBC "The smoke's going right through the town and the fire has spread and completely gutted one side of the hotel. It's unbelievable and absolutely horrendous."
Sean White of WESUP Paddleboard Centre owns a shop on the beach. He described how the fire spread quickly saying "ten minutes after the fire crews got here it was just three or so rooms on fire. Half an hour later the whole middle part of the hotel was engulfed."
A coach taking the majority of guests left about an hour before the fire started, but some guests remained. "There were people coming out of the spa wrapped in just a towel - they were given a silver sheet to keep them warm", Sean said.
"Initially the staff were evacuated on to the front lawn, but soon had to move to Gylly Beach Cafe who were laying on teas and coffees for everyone.
"Police came into the cafe asking people not to leave as they were treating the area as a crime scene."
Sean went on to explain the devastation the fire would have on the small community, saying "Everyone was pretty calm. I don't think it's sunk in. That's everybody's jobs. That's the whole season ruined. The smoke must have damaged St Michael's [Hotel and Spa]. It's a small resort and this will have an impact on all the businesses."
"The whole middle part of the building is gone", Sean said. "The whole place is devastated."
The owner of St Michael's Hotel and Spa, Nigel Carpenter, said "Our thoughts are with the owners and staff of Falmouth Beach Hotel. It was unbelievable to watch what impact the wind had on the fire.
"We hope to get access to St Michael's soon to assess what impact it has had on the hotel.
"We have successfully made alternative arrangements for all current, and arriving guests for this evening.
"The emergency telephone number for guests is 07967 078696."
Falmouth-based comedian, Kernow King, said "The Gyllynvase area is one of my favourite places in the entire world. Not just the beach and gardens, but the hotel too.
"After resisting becoming a member of a gym or pool for years, I became a member of the Falmouth Beach Hotel at Christmas. The staff and other members are such a great bunch- I really do hope they come back stronger than ever."
In a statement Best Western said "All guests have been evacuated and the emergency services are battling to get the blaze under control.
"We are currently trying to speak with the owner of the property to find out further information."
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