Eastbourne hotel fire: fundraiser set up to help support staff

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A fundraiser set up in the wake of the devastating Eastbourne hotel fire has raised more than £600 for the affected staff members.

The Claremont Hotel, on Eastbourne seafront, went up in flames on Friday morning (November 22).

At the height of the blaze, 12 fire engines were sent to the scene and some firefighters remain there this morning (Saturday, November 23).

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As the fire raged, Ali Elmes decided to set up a fundraising page to help support the staff at the hotel.

Photo by Eddie Mitchell SUS-191122-124428001Photo by Eddie Mitchell SUS-191122-124428001
Photo by Eddie Mitchell SUS-191122-124428001

In a post, she said: “At 9am this morning (22nd Nov 2019), the Claremont Hotel on Eastbourne’s seafront was devastated by fire.

“The Grade II listed building has been gutted as the fire raged all day.

“One hundred and thirty guests were safely evacuated by the staff and displaced to other hotels.

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“The staff and owners have lost their livelihood and anyone living in the hotel will have lost all their possessions. Let’s help them with something towards replacing belongings and/or to have a better Christmas.

“Our thoughts are with them all.”

So far, £633 has been raised.

If you would like to donate, please click here.

Ali added: “I just felt so bad for everyone who was in the Claremont yesterday and when I saw the drone footage from Alex Kent, it was clear how extensive the damage had been.

“It occurred to me that any staff living in had just lost everything.

“Eastbourners are very compassionate and it wasn’t long before people offered taxis, beds, clothes and food so I thought I’d try and do something to help and many people have been very supportive and kind.

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“I can only imagine what it must have been like to experience that.

“We may not raise an enormous amount per member of staff but maybe it could help even one person who needs help before any insurance kicks in.”

East Sussex Fire said it was called at 8.52am on Friday (November 22) to reports of a fire in a basement of the Claremont hotel.

At the height of the incident, 12 fire engines were at the scene, supported by specialist vehicles and officers.

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West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, Sussex Police, Eastbourne Borough Council, the ambulance service, Highways, utility companies and local building control assisted.

Everyone was evacuated safely.

Eastbourne Borough Council is helping provide accommodation for people from neighbouring properties who need somewhere to stay.

Anyone who is unable to return to their home because of the fire and needs alternative accommodation can call Sussex Police on 101 for assistance.

On Saturday, the fire service said efforts to isolate the gas supply to the Claremont Hotel will continue.

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There are concerns over the stability of the building which means that this work cannot take place in the immediate area around the hotel. Alternative plans have been put in place, according to the fire service.

This work will take some time and people are being asked to avoid the area.

Meanwhile, firefighters are allowing the gas to burn off in a controlled manner which is being closely monitored.

Cordons remain in place to ensure public safety and are being managed by Sussex Police.

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