Two charged over arson which destroyed hotel

The owners of the Palm Beach Hotel, on New South Promenade, said they were "devastated" by the blaze.
The owners of the Palm Beach Hotel, on New South Promenade, said they were "devastated" by the blaze.
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The owners of a derelict hotel that was ravaged by fire today described the “devastating” effect the blaze had on their lives.

The Palm Beach Hotel, on New South Promenade, South Shore, was left in ruins by a fire that tore through the building earlier this year.

Police have now charged two men with arson in connection with blaze on June 5.

A statement issued on behalf of the Patel family, which ran the hotel, said: “As a family we have been in business in Blackpool for 27 years.

“This fire has had a devastating impact on our lives.

“We would like to thank the fire service for trying to save the hotel.”

They also thanked police for their efforts to investigate the cause of the fire.

At its peak, around 70 firefighters were needed to tackle the blaze, which forced neighbouring residents from their homes.

The building, which was empty at the time, was gutted by the fire and there are fears it is beyond salvation.

Following the decision to charge two people, Det Con Martin Walsh said: “This had a devastating impact on the family and the community as a whole.

“Lancashire Police will always pursue people responsible for all sort of crimes.”

Neighbouring hoteliers had previously raised concerns about the building, which was earmarked for a £14m redevelopment in 2009.

However, plans for the 120-room 11-storey hotel never went ahead.

Blackpool Council has pledged to act to cut the number of derelict buildings in the area, which traders say are attracting anti-social behaviour.

It said at the time of the Palm Beach fire that it was considering pressing charges against the owners for failing to comply with two notices – one to clean up the site and one relating to security – prior to the incident.

* Two men, aged 38 and 39, have been charged with arson following the fire at the Palm Beach Hotel and are due to make their first appearance at Blackpool Magistrates Court on Wednesday October 15.