Bideford hotel blaze: suspect still being quizzed by police

58-year-old man still in police custody following early morning fire

A 58-year-old man arrested on suspicion of arson at a Bideford hotel is still being questioned by police.

More than 50 guests fled the building and four were rescued from the roof after fire broke out at Tantons Hotel in the early hours of yesterday morning (Tuesday).

Sixty fire fighters and eight fire engines were used to tackle the blaze on the third floor of the Grade II listed riverside hotel.

Guests – many of them still in their night clothes – were taken to a makeshift evacuation centre across the river at the Royal Hotel. Some who lost their belongings were later re-clothed by a charity shop in Barnstaple.

A sergeant and two police officers who broke into the hotel to rescue guests were praised for their bravery.

A police spokesman said: “They demonstrated extreme courage and bravery coupled with physical exertion breaking down doors to gain access to rooms.”

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