Six people were treated for minor injuries after staff and guests were evacuated from a burning seafront hotel in Eastbourne.
Sussex Fire and Rescue Service was called at 8.52am to reports of a fire in the hotel’s basement, with the flames spreading to the upper floors.
Twelve fire engines from two counties battled the inferno at the Victorian hotel on the south coast.
George Brown, group managing director for hotel owner Daish’s Holidays, said: “We are devastated at the loss of the hotel and will be working tirelessly to support everyone affected by the damage, including current and future guests, employees and local residents.
“We would like to thank the emergency services, the local community and businesses for their support at this difficult time, in particular the Pier Hotel, Afton Hotel and Queens Hotel, who kindly took in our guests and supported our team with looking after our guests.”
Firefighters pumped sea water from the beach to tackle the blaze.
Hotel guests were taken to Eastbourne Town Hall for refreshments after escaping the blaze.