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Published on : Saturday, October 29, 2016
The fire started around 5 am local time on Friday in the Exeter Gallery and it spread to the nearby buildings including the Clarence.
Almost 120 fire fighters and emergency crew members had to be called to the centre of the city to battle the fire. Apart from the fire fighters, a high volume pump, 27 regular pumps and four aerial ladder platforms were also sent to the scene to contain the fire.
The fire-fighters were battling the fire all day to save the timber-framed heritage hotel of the city but after putting all the efforts, they could not succeed.
One of the spokesmen for Devon and Somerset fire service informed on Friday that the Crews would be at the scene overnight and into Saturday, trying to stop the fire spreading to other historic buildings. He also added that the Clarence got completely destroyed. The art gallery, which was the primary source of the fire, was also destroyed because of the fire.
Some of the fire-fighters informed on Friday that because of the complex structure of the old buildings they could not put fire-fighters on the inside, so they were fighting it from the outside. They also added that they were pouring water on top of the hotel from the aerial ladder platforms to contain the blaze. It was found that the timber structure of the hotel made it difficult to put out the fire in time.
According to the South West Water, the massive fire forced them to make alterations as the fire-fighters were consuming huge amount of water supply of the city.
None of the guests or the crews of the hotel was believed to be injured because of the fire.
According to a local historian Dr Todd Gray, the Clarence hotel was in the heart of what was not just the medieval city, but within the precincts of Roman Exeter and for 2,000 years this area was the focus of the city’s religious and commercial life.
It was found that the ground and the first floor of the hotel were built during medieval time, while the upper floors were built during the 1700s. Previously the hotel successfully escaped the blitz of 1942, which destroyed a huge chunk of the city of Exeter.