British crews fight major fire at 19th-century seaside hotel

Firefighters evacuated a seaside hotel in southern Britain on Friday after the building caught fire and the flames spread quickly, leading to several injuries, authorities said.

Officials said the blaze started at the Victorian-era Claremont Hotel in Eastbourne early Friday. The fire quickly burned much of the 150-room hotel, which was built in 1851, and spread through all four stories.

Fire crews evacuated the hotel and 12 fire engines battled the flames. Firefighters pumped water from the nearby English Channel and fought strong winds to put out the fire.

“The swift actions of the hotel staff meant everyone got out of the hotel safely, and we thank them for their efforts,” said incident commander and assistant fire chief Mark Andrews.

Authorities said six people were treated for minor injuries. Eastbourne is located about 40 miles southeast of London.

The fire started in the basement, Andrews added, but investigators don’t yet have a cause.

ByEd Adamczyk