UPDATE: Man charged over Bideford hotel fire

Joseph Bulmer

Folkestone man to appear in court tomorrow (Thursday) after being charged in connection with early morning hotel blaze

A 63-year-old man from Folkestone in Kent has been charged with arson with intent to endanger life following the fire at Tanton’s Hotel in Bideford yesterday (Tuesday) morning.

Police said Anthony Westhead remained in custody and was scheduled to appear before North Devon Magistrates Court in Barnstaple tomorrow (Thursday.)

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 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 were taken to an evacuation centre at the Royal Hotel. They were returned home by their tour operator yesterday afternoon.

Devon and Cornwall Police issued a statement thanking all the agencies involved for their help and ongoing support, including Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, the Torridge District Council emergency team, the Brend Hotels Group Royal Hotel, Dr Hillebrant and South Western Ambulance Service Trust.