FIREFIGHTERS stopped a blaze spreading through one of Lynn’s most historic landmarks when more than 50 of them were called to a major fire alert today (Friday).
Eleven crews from across Norfolk rushed to the Duke’s Head Hotel on Tuesday Market Place after a fire broke out in a fourth-floor bedroom just after noon.
Black smoke could be seen billowing from a window of the hotel, which is currently undergoing a £2 million refurbishment.
Guests, staff, customers and contractors working on the building were evacuated within minutes of the alarm being raised.
Crowds also gathered to watch as firefighters ran hoses from Market Lane, at the side of building, and quickly put the fire out.
Group manager Richard Dromey, from Norfolk Fire Service, said the blaze started in a faulty wet/dry vacuum cleaner and caused extensive smoke damage to the bedroom and corridor.
He also said swift action by quick-thinking hotel workers helped ensure no-one was injured and the fire was contained.
A spokesman from Norfolk Fire Service said fire crews from Lynn, Downham, Sandringham, Terrington, Massingham and Wymondham attended the scene.
“We sent that weight of response because it’s a fire and one at a major historic landmark in the middle of town. We don’t know what it’s going to be like until we get there and it’s better to be safe than sorry.”
Hotel manager James Jude said: “The staff responded very well to the fire alarm and there was a full evacuation. No-one was hurt.”
He said the hotel was in the middle of a major refurbishment, and contractors were about to start work on the fourth floor having completed the first three.
The fire was in a bedroom occupied the night before, although the guests had left by the time the fire broke out.
Mr Jude also said the owners, Surya Hotels, were planning to have the hotel fully refurbished and re-opened in March next year.
Parts of the building date back to the 17th Century, although the fire started in a modern extension at the rear, which also contains the hotel ballroom.