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Last Updated: Saturday, 14 January 2006, 09:56 GMT
Fire razes Hemingway island haunt
Ernest Hemingway
Hemingway killed himself in 1961
A hotel known as a haunt of US novelist Ernest Hemingway has been destroyed in a fire in the Bahamas.

The blaze broke out on Friday morning at the Compleat Angler on the island of Bimini, 50 miles (80km) off Florida.

Owner Julian Brown was presumed dead. There were no immediate reports of other casualties in the incident.

The flames also consumed memorabilia housed in the hotel's museum on the writer, who worked there on To Have and Have Not in the 1930s.

Hemingway is said to have drunk at The Compleat Angler between fishing trips around Bimini.

The site was a key tourist attraction.

"It's a tremendous pain to bear," Bimini Chief Councillor Natasha Bullard-Rolle said.

Lost artefacts included books autographed by Hemingway and original photographs, she said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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