6th April 2020

Taunton firefighters attend Exeter fire which ‘destroyed’ historic Royal Clarence Hotel

Firefighters from Taunton have attended a significant fire in Exeter city centre which has destroyed the historic Royal Clarence Hotel.

Fire crews have been working overnight and are likely to be at the scene for most of the weekend.

The fire was reported at 05:12 on Friday 28 October and since then, fire crews have been working around the clock to prevent the fire spreading to other adjacent buildings.

At its height, there were 150 firefighters at the incident and four aerial ladder platforms were being used to pump water from the River Exe onto the blaze.

Chief Fire Officer Lee Howell said:

“We’re grateful no one has been hurt in this incident but the community has lost a historic building which is a landmark of the city.

The fire spread was compounded by the nature of these ancient buildings and their construction with common roof voids which allowed the fire to spread unseen from the origin of the fire.

We kept significant resources at the scene to ensure we were able to deal with every eventuality and we will continue to do everything we can to protect the heritage of this city.

I’d like to thank the public for their support and we will be working with other agencies to reduce disruption in the city centre as much as possible.”

Cordons will still be in place on Saturday 29 October and residents are asked to consider their travel arrangements.