Body discovered after hotel blaze

A body has been found in a Victorian hotel which was devastated by fire, police said.

North Yorkshire Police said the body was discovered on the fifth floor of the Majestic Hotel in Harrogate after the blaze, which broke out at around 5am.

Officers were unable to confirm the identity of the victim and whether or not it was a member of staff who was unaccounted for following the evacuation of the hotel.

A police spokeswoman said: “We can now confirm that police and fire officers investigating the fire at the Majestic Hotel in Harrogate have sadly located a body. The body was found on the fifth floor of the hotel.

“At this stage we are unable to confirm the identity and whether or not it is the member of staff who remained unaccounted for. We will not be in position to release their name until formal identity has been carried out.

“Police and North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service remain at the scene and will be carrying out an investigation to establish the cause and circumstances of the fire. Hotel guests are being allowed back into the hotel to retrieve their belongings under controlled conditions,” the spokeswoman added.

Early on Wednesday morning, residents were forced to escape in their night clothes as the blaze ripped through the upper floors of the town centre hotel and more than 130 guests were moved out of the building and took shelter in a nearby hotel as the emergency services dealt with the fire.

A male member of staff was reported unaccounted for as 90 firefighters tackled the blaze.

It is thought the blaze may have started in one of the top-floor rooms, some of which are used as staff quarters, with witnesses reporting seeing flames coming from the roof of the hotel.

Police said the fire was “potentially suspicious” but an exact cause had yet to be established.

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