Three hundred people off a cruise liner at a function and a funeral reception at the Commons Inn Hotel were suddenly interrupted today as a fire was discovered in the back room of the bar area.
The alarm was raised at around 1pm today when a member of staff spotted the fire in a back room and took steps to quench the flame as well as alert his colleagues to evacuate the building.
The premises, which is owned by Great National Hotels, was fully evacuated, including the 40 rooms of the hotel and all dining, seating and function areas.
A number of people attending the funeral reception had to wait while five fire engines fought the blaze as their cars were parked in the front of the hotel, where the emergency services were working on putting out the fire.
All of the tourists visiting from the Cruiseliner were swiftly put back on their buses and left the scene.
Water tankers and a platform were used by the fire services to fight the fire from the back of the building, while other fire trucks battled the blaze from the front of the building.
Kathleen McCarthy, who had been holding the funeral reception for her husband Robert at the hotel today, prior to the evacuation, said it was very disappointing to have this happen on this particular day.
“What a thing to happen,” Kathleen said, “At first we thought it was a false alarm or a drill, usually we stay sitting, thank God we got out this time.” Mrs McCarthy said the fire service was very quick to respond.
“It was unbelievable, they were here so quick, the fire was way worse at the start, it has calmed down a lot now.”