By Ben Scott, Rob Slade and Mitch Waddon
A destructive fire has broken out at Best Western’s Falmouth Beach Hotel at lunchtime today and continues into the afternoon.
Fire crews and police rushed to the scene as the fire began to spread throughout the building. No major casualties have been reported but one guest is suffering from minor smoke inhalation.
Police Superintendent of Devon and Cornwall, John Green, said: “One individual is suffering from minor smoke inhalation and has been seen by a GP, but nobody else [has] reported to us or [the] ambulance at the moment.”
The fire departments efforts to extinguish the fire have been hampered by the stormy weather which has engulfed the South West. The strong winds have caused the fire to spread quickly and the fire hoses have been rendered less effective against the blaze.
There are thought to be at least ten fire crews on the scene, with countless police cars, ambulances and a coastguard helicopter continually surveying the scene from above.
Superintendent Green added: “We’ve got between ten and twelve people yet to account for, but being a hotel we believe that they’ve gone out for the day and are coming back, so we’re asking them to make contact with us.
“But at the moment, we’re fairly confident that there is no one in the hotel.”
The cause of the fire is not yet known and it is not until the building is made safe that the investigation teams will enter the hotel and look for the cause of the fire.
“When it’s been made safe by the fire brigade we’ll put investigation teams in there to establish what the cause of the fire was, whether it was criminal or accidental.”
Gylly Beach Café has become a temporary rest shelter for evacuees but they will later be moved to a more suitable location.
Superintendent Green praised the quick actions of the hotel staff: “It was a well evacuated hotel, well done by the hotel management, to a designated rest centre.”
Contributions by Bodhi Jon, Laura Richards, Jasmine Stopford and Jamie-Ann Wall