Pictures have today revealed the full devastation of the fire that wrecked England’s oldest hotel in Exeter.
The fire continued to rage on throughout the weekend, completely destroying the 18th century building and prompting more firefighters to get involved.
The front of the hotel collapsed in the early hours and an extra eight fire engines rushed to the scene of the the front of the historic Royal Clarence Hotel in Exeter, Devon.
People were advised by the emergency services to stay well away from the city centre as it was believed the hotel could completely collapse.
An Exeter City Council chief, Karime Hassan, said: “Key message this morning – please keep away from Cathedral Yard area and let emergency services do their job.”
While an onlooker added: “I have been told it could collapse within half an hour. The city council and emergency services are now advising people to stay away from the city centre unless they absolutely have to be here.”
Crews have said that a gas main has ruptured inside the hotel on the ground floor, which is now well alight. Gas engineers are on site trying to isolate the gas supply. Crews are currently using 4 jets, from 4 aerial platforms.
The hotel – which was built in 1769 and is credited as the first hotel in the country – went up in flames after a fine art gallery nearby caught fire and the blaze quickly spread. Smoke continues to rise from the fragile shell of the building and the facade of The Royal Clarence is expected to fall down at any moment.