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Hotel closes for fire safety

PUBLISHED: 18:09 01 May 2008 | UPDATED: 10:59 03 July 2010

SAFETY IMPROVED: Fire safety work is being carried out on Red Ruth Hotel

SAFETY IMPROVED: Fire safety work is being carried out on Red Ruth Hotel

A GREAT Yarmouth hotel has been closed temporarily because fire chiefs want work to be carried out to improve fire safety procedures.

A prohibition notice was issued on the Red Ruth Hotel, in Nelson Road South, to close the hotel following a fire in a neighbouring property on Thursday, April 10 because insufficient safety standards are in place, which have been made worse by building work taking place on site.

A GREAT Yarmouth hotel has been closed temporarily because fire chiefs want work to be carried out to improve fire safety procedures.

A prohibition notice was issued on the Red Ruth Hotel, in Nelson Road South, to close the hotel following a fire in a neighbouring property on Thursday, April 10 because insufficient safety standards are in place, which have been made worse by building work taking place on site.

Guests at the Red Ruth and Ashwood Hotels were evacuated during a blaze in the derelict nine flat building at 8.50pm.

But it has emerged that not only were fire evacuation procedures at the Red Ruth inadequate, staff did not keep a list of guests so Great Yarmouth Borough Council's emergency planning team did not know how many people they would have to cater for.

Jan Davis, the council's emergency planning manager, said the number of evacuees at Yarmouth's Marina Centre peaked at 55 during the night.

Centre staff did not know how many more were expected because the Red Ruth did not have a list of guests - and a coachful of eastern European shift workers was due to arrive at the hotel in the early hours of Friday morning.

He said although there was enough space, the lack of information on numbers meant catering staff could not determine how much food and drink they would need, and firefighters were forced to search the Red Ruth to make sure everyone was out.

He said: “The Ashwood Hotel was quite straightforward. Staff there had a detailed list of all the people staying at the hotel. As far as the Red Ruth was concerned that was more difficult to ascertain because we never received an accurate list of the people staying there.”

Les Britzman, area manager for Norfolk Fire Service, said: “After careful consideration and with regard for public safety, it was agreed with the owner that under current circumstances, the premises were not suitable for overnight accommodation whilst building work was under way.

“A prohibition notice was issued which formally required certain fire safety work to be carried out before the building was suitable to be occupied.”

Seven fire engines tackled the blaze as it spread to its roof and threatened the neighbouring hotels. It has not yet been determined whether it was caused by arsonists or an electrical fault.

Under well rehearsed civil emergency plans, the Marina Centre was converted into a rest and evacuation centre at about 10pm, where the hotel residents spent the night.

Staff at the Red Ruth Hotel refused to comment.


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