December 13 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Nearly 150 guests were evacuated from one of Cambridgeshire’s most prestigious hotels after a fire broke out this morning.
Thirty firefighters from 12 crews tackled the blaze at the University Arms Hotel, in Regent Street, Cambridge, for five hours.
Hotel staff evacuated 148 guests and no injuries have been reported.
Regent Street, a major road in the city centre, and other neighbouring streets are closed with traffic being diverted.
Crews arrived at 6am to find a well developed fire on the top floor of the building.
They used jets and hose reels to contain the fire, which quickly spread to the roof and stud wall.
Ceiling hooks and equipment were used to cut away at the interior of the affected rooms, while firefighters used thermal imaging cameras to look for hotspots.
The fire was out at 11am but two crews and an aerial appliance are still at the scene dampening down the affected rooms.
A full fire investigation is underway into the cause of the fire.
Station Commander Brenan Morgan said: “This is a timely reminder for people running hotels in the area to make sure they have an evacuation policy in place and the fire alarm systems are working.
“Hotel staff did a professional job at evacuating the property and have worked extremely well with the fire service during this incident.”
Eyewitness Rob Campbell, principal of Impington Village College in Cambridgeshire, said: “I could see the smoke from the top floor rooms.
“There were at least two that looked significantly damaged and one which was billowing smoke from the top.
“It looked like a fairly major incident with the number of tenders that were there, and all the police walking across Parker’s Piece and I guess that’s going to be hugely disruptive.”
The hotel, situated on the city’s Regent Street, is part of the De Vere group.
The historic Victorian building has accommodated numerous high-profile guests over the years including the Beatles.