Firefighters were called to the Cornwall hotel just after midday on Monday and two crews discovered a fire at the rear of the 120-bed property that was 'spreading rapidly' due to gale force winds.
Ten fire appliances, two aerial ladders and a high volume pump airlifted from nearby Newquay were all in attendance at the height of the blaze at the four storey venue. After overnight efforts to bring the fire under control and damp down what remains of the building it was confirmed this morning that the fire has finally been put out.
Staff and guests, including Blur guitarist Graham Coxon, were evacuated at the time and the nearby St Michael's Hotel & Spa was also evacuated when it was thought the fire might spread further. It is understood the St Michael's hotel will remain closed until Wednesday.
Coxon took to Twitter to tell a follower that "We watched it...We had to leave the foyer and then watch it get worse and worse..rather sad." Jay Wicks, who studies in the area, also reported details of the fire on Twitter: "The smoke from Falmouth Beach Hotel is still rolling over my house, about two miles away."
At the time Devon and Cornwall Police were unable to account for a number of guests and this morning appealed for a final three to get in contact. "There is nothing at this stage to suggest these guests have come to any harm, and it is likely they have gone out on day trips, but police would like these individuals to make themselves known," the police said. All guest have now been accounted for.
16 rooms saved
A spokesperson for Best Western confirmed the hotel, which is owned by the Evans family and has been open since 1984, was almost totally destroyed by the fire.
"We believe that the fire crews managed to save the leisure club and 16 of the hotel’s 120 bedrooms from the fire, but unfortunately the rest of the property has been destroyed. Assessors are on scene this morning and we will be able to advise of further details once a full analysis has taken place," she said.
Best Western also praised both the hotel and emergency services staff and said it was contacting all guests booked into the hotel in the next few weeks to arrange alternative accommodation.
Crews are remaining on scene and a fire investigation is now taking place.