Lives risked because of inaction over Fortfield Hotel site

SIR - Unlike Nero, watching Rome burn, I didn’t have a fiddle in my hand, but I would have understood if someone, amongst the small crowd of people with me, staring at the Fortfield Hotel fire, had started a lament.

It seems extraordinary that very little was done by the local councils and authorities to prevent this inferno from happening again.

It is unforgiveable that the lives of firemen and residents alike were risked once again, through the stupidity of inaction.

It would be wonderful to think that the land, after the building has been pulled down, could become a garden of dedication to the men and women who go into battle, on behalf of the greater public, against the might of human folly. But I know that this is very unlikely to happen.

As I gazed glassy-eyed into the flames penetrating the heart of the hotel, while showers of sparks descended on the recently-thatched cricket pavilion, I asked myself: am I looking at the demise of Sidmouth?

If the powers that be cannot protect such a charming hotel, what hope is there left for the rest of the town?

Ian Davies

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