Hopes for future of fire-hit Breckland Lodge as investigation into blaze continues
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018
The owner of a fire-ravaged hotel and restaurant has vowed to rebuild the popular venue as investigations continue today into what caused a devastating blaze.
Smoke could be seen for miles as more than 60 firefighters spent hours tackling the blaze at the Breckland Lodge in Attleborough, which has been a familiar sight to many motorists travelling along the A11 for 35 years.
Guests in Breckland Lodge's 33 rooms, along with staff, were forced to take refuge in the nearby White Lodge as crews from all around Norfolk tried to save as much of the building as they could.
The venue, which employs 80 to 90 staff, had been boasting a full house the night before the fire.
Workers plan to meet later this week to consider the future of the site. However general manager Colin Kilby has already said: 'It is tragic. The whole building is gone.
'We will be closed for a little while but everything can be rebuilt.'
However he praised the community for the overwhelming messages of support he and his colleagues have already received since firefighters arrived on scene nine minutes after being called at 9.23am yesterday.
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Mr Kilby said: 'We are overwhelmed by the messages of support and kind words we have received and we are very thankful.
'It is only a building at the end of the day but it is devastating.
'The firefighters worked incredibly hard to save as much of it as they could.'
Graham Negus, who owns the Breckland Lodge with his brother Mervyn, said: 'It is too early to say what is happening but we plan to meet at the end of this week and work towards the future.
'It is a pretty emotional time for all of us and I am pretty confident we will rebuild it and get it back to what it was.
'The main thing is that everybody is safe and we will get through this together.'
Mervyn Negus was visiting his family in Australia at the time of the fire and is making his way back to the UK.
Graham Negus added the staff would be 'well looked-after' and their wages would still be paid.