Page last updated at 14:51 GMT, Saturday, 8 May 2010 15:51 UK

Majestic Hotel owners 'saddened' by fire death

Majestic Hotel
The fire broke out in staff quarters on the top floor of the hotel

The management of a listed Victorian hotel in Harrogate have said they are "deeply saddened" by the death of a person in a fire at the premises.

A body, which has not yet been identified, was found after a blaze at the Majestic Hotel early on Wednesday.

Police said a kitchen porter, 41-year-old Nigel Butterfield, was unaccounted for after the fire which is being treated as "potentially suspicious".

The hotel owners Barceló said it would be closed until at least 16 May.

In a statement, the company also thanked fire crews and the local community for their support.

'Restoring hotel'

"We are of course deeply saddened by the fact that a person has lost their life in this fire."

It continued: "We would like to take this opportunity to reiterate our thanks to the emergency services and the local council for their tremendous support over the past few days."

The company said fire damage was contained to a small number of staff rooms, guest rooms and the dining room and that it was "fully committed to restoring the hotel to its former glory".

More than 130 guests and 25 members of staff were led to safety from the hotel after fire broke out just before 0500 BST.

The body was discovered in staff accommodation on the fifth floor of the 170-bedroom hotel.

Police have said said it was "likely to take a number of weeks" to establish a cause of death or formally identify the remains.

It took crews eight hours to bring the fire under control. A joint inquiry is now being carried out by fire investigators and police to find out what caused it.

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