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Boss pays tribute to British grit

PUBLISHED: 09:11 05 November 2008 | UPDATED: 12:11 03 July 2010

The boss of Norfolk's leading holiday park last night paid tribute to the “British grit and character” of guests who were evacuated from chalets when fire swept through the laundry.

The boss of Norfolk's leading holiday park last night paid tribute to the “British grit and character” of guests who were evacuated from chalets when fire swept through the laundry.

At the height of the blaze at Potters five-star leisure resort in Hopton, near Yarmouth, eight fire crews were battling the flames using

water from the site's swimming

pool.

Yesterday, procedures were put in place to limit inconvenience to guests as the Potter family began counting the cost of the blaze which destroyed a laundry that was only opened three months ago.

Resort founder Brian Potter, speaking from Cyprus where he is hosting a bowls holiday, said: “Our old laundry has made way for an extension to the Atlas Theatre. The new one cost a sizeable six-figure sum to build and added to that must be the cost of all the laundry machinery.”

Mr Potter, whose son John will be flying home with sales director Marc Jones to supervise the clear-up, praised the work of firefighters and response of his management team.

He said: “We did have to evacuate some of the accommodation in the affected area for a short period but all the guests were very understanding, showing true British grit and character.”

Despite gas having been cut off to avoid any risk of explosion,

the resort's restaurant still managed to supply 1,000 breakfasts yesterday morning, with fried eggs being

the only thing missing off the

menu.

And Mr Potter said their aim was to keep the business open as usual ahead of a busy weekend with magician Paul Daniels performing on Sunday.

“An operation the size of ours uses thousands of sheets, but we are already setting up a temporary laundry,” he said.

Two crews were initially sent to the scene at about 11pm on Monday, but extra fire engines from Gorleston, Hethersett, Acle, Suffolk and specialist crews from Wymondham were quickly summoned, with the building still well alight at 2am.

Foam, as well as water, was used to try to extinguish the flames. Crews were still damping down at 8.35am yesterday.

Mr Potter said because of the intensity of the blaze, fire investigators had found it difficult

to determine the cause although

it had appeared to have started in the centre of the laundry building.

Staff have been gearing up for the 2008 Premier League Snooker Competition during the weekend of December 5, which will see the likes of Ronnie O'Sullivan, Stephen Hendry and Steve Davis play in the semi-finals and finals for the first time at the resort.


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