Fire at MJB hotel in Norwich is not thought to have been caused by ‘foul play’

Damage done by a fire at the MJB hotel on Earlham Road. Photo: Geraldine Scott

Damage done by a fire at the MJB hotel on Earlham Road. Photo: Geraldine Scott - Credit: Geraldine Scott

Firefighters have now left the scene of a fire at a hotel in Norwich's Earlham Road.

Damage done by a fire at the MJB hotel on Earlham Road. Photo: Geraldine Scott

Damage done by a fire at the MJB hotel on Earlham Road. Photo: Geraldine Scott - Credit: Geraldine Scott

They were called to the blaze at The Governors Hotel at just before 9.30pm last night.

But just one fire engine was left this morning, and a spokesman said they were satisfied everything was out.

The hotel, next to the city's Roman Catholic cathedral, is owned by Tony Burlingham's MJB Group, which also owns The Beeches nearby and other properties in Unthank Road.

The scene of the fire in Earlham Road

The scene of the fire in Earlham Road - Credit: Archant

Earlham Road was shut and taped off last night, while three fire crews dealt with the blaze.


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Police and an ambulance car were also at the scene.

The hotel was visibly fire damaged, with a charred ground floor window.

The scene of the fire in Earlham Road

The scene of the fire in Earlham Road - Credit: Archant

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The fire was contained to the ground floor, but upstairs had suffered some smoke damage.

The hotel was evacuated and some of the guests were standing in the street outside.

Last night, one man who was staying in the hotel said: 'I was in my room when the fire alarm went off, it then stopped and went off again.

'I heard someone shout 'get out of the building', got dressed and went out.

'I hadn't smelt any smoke, but as soon as I got outside I could. It was billowing out of the ground floor window.

'Then I heard the sirens and the fire brigade were here. They and the police have been very professional.

'I'm just waiting now to find out if we can get back in. Fortunately I've got my sleeping bag in the car if the worst comes to the worst.'

Firefighters went into the property, using torches to check on it.

It is not thought anyone was seriously injured, although one man, in his 20s, was treated by ambulance for smoke inhalation and taken to hospital as a precautionary measure.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service's fire investigations unit made its way to the scene last night, and this morning a spokesman added that although they didn't yet know the cause, they did not suspect 'foul play'.

Mr Burlingham pledged last year to either close or upgrade the properties, as an investigation revealed a string of complaints about them.

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