Sunday, 15 February 2009

Massive fire Destroys Yates Wine Lodge, Blackpool

Massive blaze rips through Blackpool
The scene in Talbot Square today

MORE than 90 firefighters are tackling a massive fire in Blackpool town centre.

The blaze started in Clifton Street, close to Talbot Square, in the early hours. Eyewitnesses said the newly refurbished Yates Wine Bar has been destroyed and neighbouring buildings were ablaze.Seven people - including a baby - were evacuated and are being looked after by Blackpool Council staff.
A 21-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of arson, police have confirmed.The fire is believed to have started in the ground-floor of a pet shop shop and spread through the roof of the neighbouring three-storey Yates' building.
The Wildcats lap dancing bar has also been severely damaged, and the Subway sandwich shop is also affected.Three aerial ladders were used and, at 10.30am, fire chiefs said the blaze was under control.However, a wall of the Wildcats lap dancing bar appears as if it may collapse.
The area around the scene has been sealed off by police.Peter O'Brien, assistant chief fire officer for Lancashire, said: "When crews arrived, just after 3am, they found a significant developing firein the middle section of the Yates Wine Lodge building."There was a real problem with the wind pushing the fire away from the Promenade towards the rest of the terrace so we realised we would needsignifacnt resources."Up to 100 firefighters were here at the scene of the fire and it is abolutely tragic."We have a real heritage building of Blackpool which to all intents and purposes has been destroyed by the fire."Lancashire Police said there were no reported injuries.
Blackpool Council leader Peter Callow said the resort had lost one of its most famous buildings.He said: "This fire has destroyed one of Blackpool's iconic buildings and it is particulary upsetting as Yates' had recently spent half a million pounds restoring the building to its former glory."I officially opened Yates' last year after the painstaking work had been done and I know how proud people were."This fire is tragic because the opening of the nearby Travel Lodge and the completion of the revamp of Rumours had seen Talbot Swuare looking very fine again."We will now be talking to everyone concerned to see what is the best way forward."

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