A fire at the Dilkhusa Grand Hotel in Wilder Road, Ilfracombe, in the early hours of this morning (Tuesday) was thought to have been started deliberately.

An Ilfracombe hotel had to be evacuated and a number of people were taken to hospital after a fire this morning (Tuesday).

The fire services responded to reports of a fire, which is thought to have been started deliberately, at the Dilkhusa Grand Hotel in Wilder Road at around 2.40am.

Initial reports suggested that people were trapped on the fourth floor.

Fire fighters entered the property wearing breathing apparatus and rescued five people. Three more were also led to safety.

Four people were taken to hospital all suffering with smoke inhalation and one was also suffering with chest pains.

Some six fire appliances from Illfracombe, Combe Martin, Woolacombe, Braunton, Lynton, Barnstaple and Exeter attended as well as a number of ambulances to treat casualties with smoke inhalation.

The scene of the fire at the Dilkhusa Grand Hotel in Ilfracombe this morning (Tuesday). Picture: Tony GussinThe scene of the fire at the Dilkhusa Grand Hotel in Ilfracombe this morning (Tuesday). Picture: Tony Gussin

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said a small fire in the toilet of a third floor guest room was out by 3.40am and that a ‘systematic evacuation’ had taken place.

A fire service spokesman said: “The fire was in a hotel consisting of four floors, a basement and was occupied by 184 persons.

“One flat on the third floor was 20 per cent damaged by fire with the remainder of the flat damaged by smoke.

“The third and fourth floor was also affected by smoke and a full evacuation of the hotel was carried out.

“Six breathing apparatus wearers went in with two horse reel jets one safety jet and one thermal image camera, water supplies were supplemented from a hydrant.

“All persons were accounted for and first aid was rendered by fire service personnel at the scene. The cause of the fire is under investigation.”

The cause of the fire is suspected to be deliberate and a police investigation will be carried out.

Staff at the hotel declined to comment on the situation this morning. More as we have it.

A spokeswoman for Devon and Cornwall Police said: “Fire services and ambulance services were in attendance and the hotel was evacuated.

“No serious injuries have been reported, five people were taken to hospital with varying degrees of smoke inhalation.

“A police investigation is currently underway and enquiries are ongoing.”