dies in seafront hotel fire
About 100 firefighters were tackling the blaze at
A man died and several people were taken to hospital
after a fire at a seafront hotel in Blackpool.
The fire broke out in the basement of the four-storey
Manor Hotel on Central Promenade at about 0330 BST.
Five residents were inside at the time, including
a couple from Scotland and a man who died after becoming
trapped in his room on the second floor.
He was rescued by firefighters but later died in
hospital after suffering a heart attack.
The fire also affected the neighbouring Waverley
Hotel, which was also evacuated.
Twelve fire engines were called to the scene and
at its height, about 100 firefighters were tackling
They were forced to get out of the building after
part of it collapsed.
The severity of the blaze was such that the breathing
apparatus of one firefighter was smouldering and started
to burn as he searched the building.
Sixty people were evacuated from neighbouring hotels
and taken to safety in a nearby leisure centre.
Five residents were inside when the fire broke out
A section of the promenade between Rigby Street and
Vauxhall Square was closed, and the tram service along
the promenade was suspended.
Jade Cook and her partner Kenny Harper, both from
Edinburgh, were inside The Manor Hotel when the fire
They said they were gasping for air as thick smoke
filled the building.
Mr Harper said: "I had to hold Jade's hand to
be able to see it was that dark, and that smoky."
It is not yet clear how the fire started but fire
investigators remain at the scene.
John Taylor, of Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service,
said: "It was a very intense fire.
"It seems to have started in the basement but
there is no information as to the cause - we can't
rule anything out."