The fall of Brighton’s Royal Albion Hotel Brighton News

What began as an ordinary Saturday on July 15 turned into one of Brighton’s darkest days as the fourth floor of the Royal Albion Hotel went up in flames.

It was around 5pm when flames burst through the windows on the west side of the 200-year-old building and onlookers were ushered away from Pool Valley as fire crews attempted to fight the blaze.

The Argus: The scene on Saturday night.The scene on Saturday night. (Image: Andrew Gardner)

But with strong winds from the shore fanning the fire, it was not long before it spread across several floors and up into the roof.

Crews from as far as London were drafted in as the major incident unfolded, with more than a hundred brave firefighters tackling the inferno into Sunday morning.

The morning light revealed a bleak picture to the hundreds of people crammed onto the seafront, watching history collapse before them.

The Argus: Crews tackling the fire.Crews tackling the fire. (Image: Andrew Gardner)

Persistent winds were blowing thick smoke into the Old Steine, with visibility at barely one metre and people coughing and spluttering while rubbing their stinging eyes as they passed through the area.

Abandoned firefighting equipment was strewn across the streets while crews were slumped on the kerbside, exhausted from tackling the blaze.

The Argus: A firefighter on the kerb.A firefighter on the kerb. (Image: Andrew Gardner)

Guests of the Royal Albion had been moved to nearby emergency accommodation and they were all desperate to know if any of their belongings had survived.

The Argus: Smoke filled the streets.Smoke filled the streets. (Image: Andrew Gardner)

By Monday, all that remained of the hotel’s west wing was an outer shell. There was no option but to tear down the remains.

On Wednesday, July 20, at roughly 2pm, hundreds lined King’s Road to watch as a crane was moved into position before its pincer dragged the first lot of crumbling brickwork to the ground.

Now, five months after that fateful night, most of the fire-ravaged building has disappeared – just the east section remains.

The Argus: The first piece of the Royal Albion is torn down.The first piece of the Royal Albion is torn down. (Image: Andrew Gardner)

READ MORE: Royal Albion hotel fire Brighton: 13 pictures of devastating scene

The hotel’s owner Britannia has failed to respond to all requests for comment. There have been no updates on what will happen to the site.

And so while the smoke in the Old Steine has long drifted away, the heavy cloud of uncertainty around the future of where the Royal Albion once stood looks set to remain.

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This notice was published: 2024-01-01 05:00:00

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