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25/02/2021

Towering inferno engulfs Newport Towers Hotel off A38, in Berkeley

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Newport Towers Hotel, near the A38, has fallen prey to a massive fire, lighting up the night sky with a bright orange hue sending large black clouds of smoke up in the sky. Seven fire engines were rushed onto the scene to douse the flames. The firefighters had to be present on the scene for 12 straight hours until their job had finished.

The police, along with emergency services, have been carrying out their respective inquiries and investigations that this could have been done deliberately or not.

This is the second time a fire has wreaked havoc on this site in recent years. This site also suffered a calamitous fire outbreak in April of last year. The fire crews had to present at the scene for more than 3 hours while the Gloucestershire Constabulary investigated that fire for a possible case of arson. Though not explicitly confirmed, arson has not been ruled out by the emergency services department this year too.

It is still not clear how long the fire services will have to monitor the site, or how bad the damage is, or what was the cause of the fire. A Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue services spokesperson asserted that they were summoned at around 1.39 am, the morning of the fire. At about 9 am, four fire appliances were still on the scene from Gloucester, Stroud, Lydney, and Tetbury, respectively. 

The Thornbury Fire station has shared macabre images of the towering fire as their crew worked at dousing the fire. The fire station has said in a tweet that Gloucestershire Fire Department had called for their support to tackle the fire at the Hotel. In this tweet, they also thanked Gloucestershire police for their help in the road closure.

The Hotel had closed back in 2007, and there have been several planning applications that proposed various redevelopments. The Stroud District Council approved a detailed application for housing and a community shop on this site.

Another plea application was submitted in February for the amendment of the building’s planning conditions so that the adjacent barn could be retained, prohibiting the business of livestock. Alkington Parish Council’s clerk wrote in a response published on the council’s website in February that inhabitants of Newport had put up with this eyesore of a building for 14 straight years and that they were very eager to see the situation resolved.

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