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This article was reproduced with the kind permission
of the British Broadcasting Corporation



Monday, 19 November 2007, 11:59 GMT
Hotel fire sparks investigation

An investigation into the cause of a fire which caused extensive damage to a newly-built luxury hotel in Newcastle has got under way.

The fire broke out at the five-storey Hotel du Vin, close to Horatio Street, on Monday morning.

There are fears the £4.5m hotel, which was due to open in May, may now have to be demolished.

The blaze brought severe disruption to rush hour traffic, with the closure of nearby City Road.

At the height of the fire ten appliances were in attendance.

John Baines, from the Tyne and Wear Fire Service, said the weather had made things worse.

He said: "The wind was picking it up from the east end of the building, where the fire started, and certainly assisted with its development along the roof line.

"It was precisely that which determined our attendance with two aerial ladders. These allowed us to get up over the fire and extinguish it."