Page last updated at 08:45 GMT, Wednesday, 29 July 2009 09:45 UK

Hotel fire could be 'suspicious'

The Grand Hotel, Blackpool
Floors and walls collapsed during the fire

A fire that destroyed a Blackpool hotel and resulted in hundreds of people being evacuated is being treated as a suspected arson attack.

Police want to speak to one woman and two men who were spotted behind the Grand Hotel, on Station Road, shortly before the fire on Monday night.

More than 100 firefighters tackled the flames, which destroyed the six-storey building.

A fire spokesman described the scene as "like something from the Blitz".

During the incident, floors and walls collapsed as firefighters attempted to extinguish the flames.

People were to safety from the nightclub and holiday flats in part of the building and other nearby buildings, including guesthouses and hotels, were evacuated as a precaution.

A Lancashire Constabulary spokeswoman the fire was being treated as suspicious and investigations were continuing.

Many people had been allowed to return to their properties to collect the necessities but were staying with friends, relatives or had been put up in hotels while the area was made safe, she added.

Work to start demolishing the hotel started on Tuesday afternoon and could take a number of days depending on the weather, a Blackpool Council spokeswoman confirmed.

Engineers from the council will visit the site later to make a full assessment.

Road closures remain in place on Withnell Road, Station Road and Lytham Road.

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Fire rages at the Grand Hotel in Blackpool



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SEE ALSO
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