East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service logo
East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service logo

Gas leak led to Claremont Hotel fire

Date : 16 September 2020

Claremont 7am 23 Nov.JPG

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service has concluded its investigation in to the cause of the fire at the Claremont Hotel, Eastbourne.

Since the incident on 22 November 2019, our fire investigation team have worked to determine the cause, gathering and examining a range of evidence and witness statements. We have concluded that a small gas leak from the internal gas main ignited. The vertical internal gas main was boxed-in with other utilities against the side of a lift shaft which provided for rapid vertical fire spread to the upper floors of the building.

Unfortunately, the damage caused by the fire and the subsequent damage by storms means that the Grade 2 listed building had to be demolished. 

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

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

Gas Safety

The findings are released as the Service supports Gas Safety Week (14th-20th September).

We are highlighting the importance of maintaining your gas appliances and providing essential safety tips for homes and businesses.

Ten top tips to help keep you safe and warm

  • Only use a Gas Safe registered engineer to fit, fix and service your appliances. You can find and check an engineer at GasSafeRegister.co.uk or call 0800 408 5500.
  • Check both sides of your engineer’s Gas Safe Register ID card. Make sure they are qualified for the work you need doing. You can find this information on the back of the card.
  • Have all your gas appliances regularly serviced and safety checked every year. If you rent your home ask for a copy of the landlord’s current Gas Safety Record.
  • Know the six signs of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning – headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness. Unsafe gas appliances can put you at risk of CO poisoning, gas leaks, fires and explosions.
  • Check gas appliances for warning signs that they are not working properly e.g. lazy yellow flames instead of crisp blue ones, black marks or stains on or around the appliance and too much condensation in the room.
  • Fit an audible carbon monoxide alarm. This will alert you if there is carbon monoxide in your home.
  • Keep vents and chimneys clear. Make sure you don't block any vents, as they are vital to ensure gas appliances burn properly, and chimneys need to be cleaned and checked regularly. 
  • Use gas appliances only for their intended purpose. Don't be tempted to use them for something they weren't meant for (e.g using a gas cooker to heat a room).
  • Know the emergency procedure. If you smell gas or suspect immediate danger, make sure you familiarise yourself with the emergency procedure and contact the relevant number for your UK region.
  • Spread the word. Share vital gas safety information with friends, family and neighbours to make sure your community stays safe.  

If you need to find a Gas Safe registered engineer in your local area, you can type your postcode or town name into the search bar on the Gas Safe Register homepage, or visit the Check The Register page where you can search for a registered business by location, their company name or reg number, or the engineer's licence card number.


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