Children spotted in Sidmouth Fortfield blaze hotel

PUBLISHED: 14:16 09 January 2011

Fire at The Fortfield Hotel in Sidmouth on the 30th December 2010. Pictures by Terry Ife ref shs 6174-52-10TI

Fire at The Fortfield Hotel in Sidmouth on the 30th December 2010. Pictures by Terry Ife ref shs 6174-52-10TI

Archant

CHILDREN were seen in the Fortfield Hotel hours before it was ravaged by flames.

CHILDREN were spotted in the Fortfield Hotel hours before it was ravaged by flames.

Concerned residents told firefighters they’d seen kids playing at the site last Thursday.

Rescue chiefs were confident no-one was trapped inside the burning building as they battled the blaze from the outside.

They revealed this week an entire section of perimeter fence panel had been removed.

Fire service group manager Adge Tilke said: “On the afternoon the fire occurred we were informed by local people there were a number of youths in the property throughout the day.”

He added the security of the derelict site has been an “ongoing concern” to the emergency services.

“We’ve had considerable concerns about how secure the property was and how easy it was to access,” said Mr Tilke.

“As long as people could gain access there was always a risk.”

Mr Tilke told the Herald at the scene last Thursday: “There are no electric or other supplies into the hotel. At this time it is reasonable to assume this is an accident or deliberate act- by people who should not have been there.”


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