This morning at 04:39hrs Sussex Control Centre (SCC) received a call from the George In Rye Hotel, High Street, Rye, about smoke in the hotel and that staff were in the process of evacuating 20+ guests. Two appliances from Rye Fire Station were sent to investigate.
On arrival at 04:53hrs crews used breathing apparatus with a hose reel jet to locate the source of the fire.
Due to the age and construction of the premises, the fire quickly spread through hidden cavities and took hold in the roof void, additional fire appliances, including an Aerial Ladder Platform were sent to tackle the escalating fire.
The hotel, which is on four floors with 46 guest bedrooms, had a wedding party in preparing for a wedding at the hotel today (Saturday), the crews carried out significant salvage operations to save as many of the guest's belongings as possible, including the bride’s wedding dress.
In total 8 fire appliances, an aerial appliance and Incident Command Unit attended the fire, support by a full command team, with additional relief crews being required.
Currently, there are 2 appliances on scene damping down and turning over whilst the Local Authority Building Control assess the stability of the building structure due to extensive fire damage to the roof.
Incident Commander Dan Channon said,
"This was a challenging incident due to the complex nature of this old building in a confined part of the town.
"Crews had to work extremely hard in arduous conditions, using breathing apparatus, to bring the fire under control and prevent it from spreading to other properties."
The cause of the fire will be the subject of a fire investigation.