Hundreds evacuated in seaside hotel fire

Around 850 people were evacuated from a hotel in Folkstone following a fire which started in a second floor guest room.

Fire crews attending the Burstin Grand hotel in Folkstone last month were confronted with a heavily smoke logged guest room and corridor on the second floor of the eight-storey building. At its height, five fire appliances along with 35 fire fighters attended the incident.

Fire fighters wearing breathing apparatus tackled the fire using hydrants, jets and a positive pressure ventilation (PPV) fan. 816 guests – three of whom had physical disabilities – and 44 staff were evacuated.

The fire started after a couple staying at the hotel lit tea lights in their room and left them unattended. One of the tea lights, which had been left on top of a television, burnt through the set starting the fire.

Russ Jordan, Kent Fire and Rescue Service’s group manager of operations who attended the incident said: “Unfortunately people often treat tea lights as some sort of harmless decoration but we know that they can cause damage, destruction and even death.”