|Dramatic rescue from
hotel fire , 10th March 2006
FIREFIGHTERS had to smash down doors and drag a man
from his bed in a dramatic early-hours rescue after
fire engulfed a Waterfoot hotel.
Four people were rescued and licensee Mark Farmer
and a female co-worker were taken to hospital suffering
from smoke inhalation following the blaze at the Royal
Hotel around 4am on Monday.
A police officer and one of the hotel guests helped
Mr Farmer’s two young children to safety.
The hotel bar reopened on Tuesday but the residential
rooms, which were severely damaged by smoke, remained
Owners revealed that the fire had started in Mr Farmer‘s
bedroom, spreading and filling the upper floors of
the hotel with choking black smoke; they said he had
since been asked to leave.
An investigation is taking place into why the smoke
alarm system apparently did not work effectively.
Fire Service crew manager Glenn Barrett said the
exact cause of the fire was under investigation, but
it was not regarded as suspicious.
‘It looks as though it started because of smoking
materials in or near the bed in the landlord’s
room,’ he said.
‘When we arrived there was black smoke coming
out of two second-floor windows. A woman and two children
had already got down into the bar area but there were
other people on the upper two floors.
‘We found four people in a smoke-logged corridor
and walked them out through the smoke and down to
the ground floor.
‘We had to use rams to break down the doors
of some bedrooms and found people still asleep; we
had to drag one man from his bed.’
Director of Leeds-based CTD Leisure Management, Chris
Henderson, said the firm had taken over the Royal
in November and had plans to refurbish it to its former
Mr Henderson said: ‘Mr Farmer is not there
‘He has been told to leave. We have been told
that the fire started in his bedroom and there is
confusion about how many people were in the hotel
at the time.
‘I am told it was eight but I cannot confirm
Mr Henderson said the hotel was granted a new fire
certificate on 21 January following safety work done
after the group took over the premises.
He said: ‘We have plans for a major refurbishment
of the hotel, which has become run down.
‘We want to target visitors to the area attracted
by the Mary Towneley Way, the steam railway and Ski
On Monday afternoon, Mr Farmer, who took over the
hotel last July, said he was too upset to talk about
the incident, but added: ‘The main thing is
that no-one was hurt.’