Friday, August 15, 2008

Kings Head Fire - Update


There has been a major fire at the King's Hotel (known to everyone as the King's Head). Fortunately, I understand there have been no casualties. (Thanks to Darloguy at the Town Liar for the picture).

The Echo has the story here. I've spoken to the Council's Chief Exec this morning - senior officers have been working with the Fire Service and the Police all night actioning the Borough's emergency plan, so for example, there could be a smooth evacuation of guests to other venues.

As of 10 minutes ago, the fire was still burning, although the Fire Service is working hard to damp down the flames. Further investigations can then take place on the structure of the building.

As you might imagine, Priestgate is closed. The key message is - Darlington town centre is still very much open for business. Shops around Priestgate maty be affected, but fortunately owing to the Fire Service's excellent work, the Cornmill was spared. Clearly there may be some disruption getting into town, but if you're planning a visit, you should go ahead.

Darlington's Market Spectacular, which is due to start today featuring 300 stalls with goods from around the world, is proceeding as planned.

I'll provide more updates when I get them.

Update 12.20pm

Recovery work is continuing to proceed well - the Cornmill shopping centre is open, as is the Cornmill car park. The fire is 90% extinguished, and a review will shortly take place as to whether Priestgate can be re-opened.

The focus of the work is now on assisting the people who were moved to the Blackwell Hotel, and the structural integrity of the building. This is likely to continue over the weekend.

Update 6.40pm

So far, it hasn't been possible to re-open Priestgate whilst the fire has continued to burn, and so the Fire Service has needed to have its hoses etc in situ. It is hoped that Priestgate will be open tomorrow, as will the area around Northgate which has been closed off for the removal of loose tiles.

Everything is being done to reunite guests with their personal belongings where possible, and staff at Blackwell Grange have been very helpful. Inter-agency work seems to have gone well, which has allowed the Market Spectacular to proceed.

Finally, although the top floor was gutted, the building is structurally sound and as soon as it can be made weathertight then it would be possible to work towards partial re-opening - there is no timescale on this or detail on the owners intentions at this time.

18 comments:

Ian White. said...

Thanks for the photo plug Nick, pity its under such bad circumstances, as you say no one was hurt thats the main thing.

Only you'll know who said...

your never Darloguy aswell are you Ian...

Ian W said...

No, I just meant thanks for plugging the "Liar" not the photo thats all Darloguys work.

Anonymous said...

Alan Macnab writes....

I didn't know it was called The King's. I have always called it The King's Head.

It's a bit like Teesside Airport or The Croft Spa Hotel who both rejoice in new branded names.

Hopefully The King's will rise from the ashes.

Anonymous said...

The echo did a brilliant job in covering this. Their website had the story at 2.30am!! And they've updated it every half an hour or so.

Well done to them. Hopefully the structure of the building can be saved.

Anonymous said...

The Northern Echo published a special paper today, just for Darlington, and it had pictures and a full report.

The Hotel is such an iconic building it is important that it is quickly restored and that the shops on the ground floor are opened ASAP.

BNP Volunteer said...

I am please that everybody is fine. I am suspicious about how a fire can start and spread so quick.

Hopefully the building can be restored to its former glory.
Anybody know if the ballroom was badly affected?

BNP Volunteer said...

I am please that everybody is fine. I am suspicious about how a fire can start and spread so quick.

Hopefully the building can be restored to its former glory.
Anybody know if the ballroom was badly affected?

BNP Volunteer said...

I am please that everybody is fine. I am suspicious about how a fire can start and spread so quick.

Hopefully the building can be restored to its former glory.
Anybody know if the ballroom was badly affected?

BNP Volunteer said...

I am please that everybody is fine. I am suspicious about how a fire can start and spread so quick.

Hopefully the building can be restored to its former glory.
Anybody know if the ballroom was badly affected?

BNP Volunteer said...

I am please that everybody is fine. I am suspicious about how a fire can start and spread so quick.

Hopefully the building can be restored to its former glory.
Anybody know if the ballroom was badly affected?

BNP Volunteer said...

I am please that everybody is fine. I am suspicious about how a fire can start and spread so quick.

Hopefully the building can be restored to its former glory.
Anybody know if the ballroom was badly affected?

BNP Volunteer said...

I am please that everybody is fine. I am suspicious about how a fire can start and spread so quick.

Hopefully the building can be restored to its former glory.
Anybody know if the ballroom was badly affected?

Paul Cain said...

This is heartbreaking. I recall many a knees-up in the bar upstairs and the two ladies who served in the downstairs lounge were lovely, as well. I hope the jobs of those who worked there will be secured.
To see one of the iconic building of your home town burned like that.......here's hoping it can be repairs quickly

Anonymous said...

Me and my husband stayed in room 417 in July this year. During the stay we experienced some strange flashing red lights in our bedroom. We weren't the only ones - maybe it was Albert!

Anonymous said...

no that will be what you call a smoke alarm ;-)

Anonymous said...

I think I know the difference between a smoke alarm and the flashing lights we saw.

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