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29 April 2010, 10:11
A hotel in the centre of Wisbech is being demolished after being gutted by fire.
Crews were called to the Phoenix Hotel just after 1am on 29 April.
26 people had to be evacuated from surrounding buildings, and a man was taken to hospital after breathing in smoke.
As of 3pm on 29 April, the fire service told Heart they could be at the scene right through the afternoon, as it was proving difficult to reach hotspots deep inside the building. This means North Brink, Chapel Road and the road over the Freedom Bridge could stay closed for some time yet.
Sean Brown, Incident Commander told Heart: “Fire crews have been doing all they can to ensure that the damage caused by this fire has the minimal impact on the buildings adjoining it.
“We have been unable to gain access to the Phoenix itself due to fears that the building could collapse – and we have now had this confirmed by a building control officer and a partial demolition is now being carried out.
“There are some hotspots still inside the Phoenix and we need to ensure that these are properly extinguished.
“There has been some transfer of heat from the fire through the adjoining walls to the properties next door. The walls are still extremely hot and we are still monitoring them to ensure that no further damage is caused.
“Because of this, I don’t expect that the roads around the Phoenix will be re-opened this afternoon. I know that this is causing disruption to those living and working in the town, but I urge them to bear with us, as we need to ensure that the building is safe and that no further damage is going to be caused.”