Breaking news, just told to me by a friend in the area of Exeter (England):
The Royal Clarence Hotel, in the center of Exeter, Devon had been burning all day since early yesterday morning (28 Oct 2016) – and news stories now say the edifice is collapsing. A ruptered gas line helped fuel the fire. A drone will help assess damage, but from pictures I look at as I type, so much of it has been destroyed (and that’s not even looking at the interior).
Described as England’s oldest hotel, the building actually has a Smith & Gosling connection: adjoining it was Praeds Bank (1769). The hotel was originally “Assembly Rooms” brought into being by William Mackworth Praed (Emma Austen’s great aunt was born Susannah Mackworth Praed, before she married – in 1800 – Thomas Smith).
Because of the “family” connection, my friend brought me here in 2014; and we had lunch at the cafe next door.
This is very close to Exeter Cathedral; services and a concert have been cancelled.
REALLY hard to hear that the fire broke out in a gallery that was undergoing RENOVATION – that was the tale for the theater fire that destroyed La Fenice (Venice’s renowned opera house) back in 1996.
Of course, as a hotel, paying guests were in their rooms when the fire broke out. No one seems to have gotten hurt.
- breaking news on BBC: Exeter Fire: Royal Clarence Hotel Collapses due to Fire
<=The Royal Clarence, Exeter, a year ago (2015) And “today” (29 Oct 2016) =>