Seagull Weekly Briefing 17/07

Shouting 'fire' in an uncrowded news briefing.

Seagull Weekly Briefing 17/07
Source: The Brighton Seagull

Good morning. Our editor's on holiday for the next couple of weeks so the Seagull was going to take a break too, but then The Royal Albion Hotel, a prominent local landmark on the Old Steine, was gutted by a fire which started on an upper floor early Saturday evening.

Firefighters were present from just before 5:30pm on Saturday and continued to battle the fire through the night, struggling against the high winds which had already caused extensive disruption to the Trans Pride festival earlier in the day. Fire crews were called in from as far afield as Pevensey, and equipment was brought in from West Sussex.

The hotel and other nearby buildings were evacuated, and there have been no reported injuries. Evacuees were temporarily housed in the Brighton Centre overnight before other accommodation could be found.

This isn't the first time the Royal Albion has caught fire—the Argus has the story of the last time it happened, nearly 25 years ago.

Councillors and MPs have praised the work of local emergency and council workers in dealing with the crisis, with Kemptown and Peacehaven MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle going a step further and condemning the hotel's owner:

The council, police and fire service encouraged residents to stay away from the area and for those living in the vicinity to keep windows closed. The roads nearby are still closed and the fire service still on the scene as of press time on Sunday night.

Photograph of a smoke-filled Old Steine with the road closed by police
Source: The Brighton Seagull
The Seagull is now in holiday mode—barring any other big news, we'll be back on Monday 31st.