Hotel near Gatwick to be shut ‘for some time’ after blaze caused by electrical fault rips through building

A hotel near Gatwick Airport will shut ‘for some time’ after a major fire caused by an electrical fault.

Monday, 15th March 2021, 3:31 pm

Starboard Hotels Group operations director Kerian Barnes confirmed the ibis hotel in London Road will stay closed after 15 fire engines were called to the blaze on Friday March 12.

Crews stayed at the hotel throughout the weekend with firefighters from West Sussex and Surrey on the scene when the blaze was at its worst.

A spokesman for West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service said: “At the height of the incident there were 15 fire engines in attendance from both West Sussex and Surrey, two aerial ladder platforms, a breathing apparatus support unit and the service’s technical rescue unit who used the drone to provide aerial imaging of the scene.”

The scene of the blaze

Firefighting continued inside and outside the hotel for several hours, he added. Relief appliances were brought in on Friday evening and remained at the scene throughout the night monitoring conditions.

The hotel is not being used to quarantine travellers from so-called ‘red list’ countries, Starboard Hotels Group said.

Kerian Barnes said: “The hotel is currently closed and will remain so for some time.

“The cause of the fire is still being assessed, but it may have been due to an electrical issue.”

The scene of the blaze

The nearby A23 was closed in both directions while the blaze was brought under control, and was reopened to traffic at 1am on Saturday.

The fire service spokesman said: “Fire investigations commenced on Saturday morning and the premises was handed back over to the responsible person at 5.30pm on Saturday.

“Investigations have concluded the fire began accidentally as a result of an electrical fault in an extractor fan system.”

On Friday, a spokeswoman for the hotel said all guests and staff were evacuated safely and noone suffered any injuries.