Video: Weston's Bayside Hotel gutted by fire
PUBLISHED: 12:39 26 June 2011 | UPDATED: 13:09 26 June 2011
DOZENS of firefighters battled through the early hours of this morning (Sun) to save a hotel on Weston seafront from a huge blaze.
Eight fire appliances from around the district raced to The Bayside Hotel in Upper Church Road shortly after 10.30pm last night.
The fire had already taken a firm hold of the upper floors by the time crews arrived, and they faced a lengthy battle to try to save the derelict building.
Mercury readers Ally Panayiotou and David Oxendale caught some of the drama on camera, and you can view their footage in the video panel alongside this story.
The video shows the scale of the fire, and captures the moment when flames burst through the hotel roof.
This provided a stern challenge for firefighters, who were forced to create a water ‘tower’ to try to combat the blaze from above.
Such was the extent of the fire at its peak that thick smoke which blew across Weston could be seen and smelled as far inland as the Milton area.
One witness, who lives in flats overlooking the former hotel, told the Mercury: “It was a spectacular site, but a sad one.
“It’s a lovely building, it’s been such a shame to see it derelict in recent years – I hope it can be saved.”
Fire crews are still on site this morning, damping down the remains.
Investigators will also today begin scrutinising the wreckage to try to decide what sparked the fire.
However, just three weeks ago, teams from Avon Fire & Rescue were called to the same hotel to tackle a small-scale blaze believed to have been started by people squatting in the 32-bedroom hotel.
The Bayside is the second seafront hotel in Weston to fall victim to fire in the past 12 months.
The Royal Pier Hotel, in Birnbeck Road, was destroyed last October and its ruins demolished shortly afterwards.
* Did you capture last night’s fire on film? Email your pictures or videos to firstname.lastname@example.org