PICTURES: Fire crews tackle blaze at the Royal Seven Stars Hotel in Totnes
More than eight fire crews tackled a large blaze at a hotel in Totnes for over four hours on Saturday night.
Fire crews from Totnes and Paignton were called to the Royal Seven Stars Hotel, in The Plains, just before 10pm after receiving reports of a fire in the kitchen.
Upon arrival at the scene, the incident commander immediately requested additional resource and fire crews from Totnes, Paignton, Torquay and Crownhill were called upon.
Fire crews confirmed all 35 guests at the hotel were accounted for and evacuated from the premises. Staff and guests were all unharmed and were taken to alternative accommodation, believed to be the Grand Hotel in Torquay, for the night.
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The fire, which started in the ground-floor kitchen of the detached hotel, quickly spread to the first-floor ballroom.
By 10.08pm, smoke could be seen issuing from the first-floor of the hotel.
Police cordoned off the incident and closed the road while firefighters battled the blaze.
Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used three hose reel jets, three main jets, a dry powder extinguisher, a thermal imaging camera and an aerial ladder platform to tackle the blaze.
By 10.30pm, the fire service confirmed the electrics had been isolated.
At 11.12pm, crews confirmed the fire had spread to the cavity walls and firefighters were attempting to expose and extinguish the flames.
By midnight, ambulance crews were in attendance as a precaution as well as Hazard Area Rescue Team personnel.
Crews confirmed steady progress was being made at around 1.30am and by 2.30am firefighters confirmed the fire was being brought under control and had not spread any further.
At 3.04am, the fire service confirmed the fire had been extinguished.
The hotel confirmed it would remain open but said the ballroom would be out of use for a few weeks due to the fire.
On their official Twitter page, a spokesperson for the Royal Seven Stars said: "The Royal Seven Stars had a fire last night, we are open for business in the bars as usual, but no food for 2 days.
The ballroom will be out of use for a few weeks but will be open as usual from November onwards."
They added: "Thanks for all the kind messages, no one was hurt. We have some damage to kitchen and ballroom only. We are open as usual, but no food today."
Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said the blaze started in the kitchen and involved deep fat fryers and said the cause of the fire was believed to be accidental.
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