In the very early hours of Saturday morning fire broke out at the Penhallow Hotel in Island Crescent close to the sea front in Newquay. The fire developed very rapidly through the four storey Edwardian building, so much so that the building appears to be almost completely gutted. Part of the building has collapsed and specialist contractors have been called in to demolish some of the outside wall deemed structurally unsafe.
Sadly one person died from either falling or jumping from the second floor; additionally there are another four people currently unaccounted for. Such was the ferocity of the fire and the danger of entering the building that at the time of writing the fire service have been unable to verify if there are any bodies inside.
There were over 80 guests plus 3 staff and a coach driver in the hotel at the time according to reports. A suggestion that many of the visitors were a party of senior citizens could hint at a lack of mobility for some in getting out. Members of the public heroically helped in the evacuation.
I'm not sure if it's a personal phobia but I'm not comfortable in big hotels or any indoor building where large numbers congregate. Similarly an outdoor venue where people are jammed together. I like to have some adjacent empty space I can move into should the need arise. I have been in a very small block of flats where a fire occurred, my life certainly wasn't in danger but I have a healthy respect for fire.
If I go on holiday I wouldn't wish to stay in a large establishment even if money was no object. For me it would be self catering or a small B & B.