Young farmers evacuated from hotel following fire

The scene in the early hours of Sunday

Police are investigating a suspicious fire at a hotel in Torquay.

The Bancourt hotel on Avenue Road was evacuated just after midnight, this morning, 23rd April, after a fire broke out in the basement area, all of the hotel guests, who were young farmers visiting Torquay for their annual convention were given overnight accommodation at the Riviera International Conference Centre.

 

Three people, including a staff member, sustained minor injuries and were taken to Torbay District Hospital, two suffering from smoke inhalation and another with a cut arm.

Police closed the road between Old Mill Road and Pilmur Avenue and reopened it at 3.10am.

Police are treating the incident as arson with intent to endanger life and remain on scene with fire investigators to carry out further enquiries. A scene guard remains in place.

Detective Sergeant Andy Penhaligon from Torquay CID, said: “We are treating this incident as arson. Fortunately there were only three minor injuries but this reckless and purposeful action could have had far more serious, even fatal, consequences.

“Further enquiries are continuing to establish the exact circumstances of the fire and we are appealing to anyone who may have seen any suspicious activity or individual in or around the hotel at the time of the offence to contact us.

“I would pay credit to the firefighters and police officers, plus the hotel owners and staff, whose swift actions and partnership work ensured the safety of guests and members of the public, as well as the local community, Torbay Council and Street Pastors who provided tremendous support to the evacuated guests.”

Anyone who has information to assist the investigation is asked to contact police on 101@dc.police.uk or by phone on 101, quoting crime reference CR/030215/17.

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