UPDATED: Huge fire at derelict Blackpool hotel
A fire has broken out on in a derelict hotel along Blackpool's North Shore this evening.
Eyewitnesses reported seeing 'huge flames' at the former Ambassador Hotel just after 8.30pm this evening.
It is not the first time the boarded-up building has been set alight, firefighters were called to the building, at the junction of The Promenade and Derby Road, last October.
Four crews were initially called to the blaze on the Prom in the derelict Ambassador Hotel and the number of engines on site had doubled by 9pm.
Two crews were sent from Forest Gate, one from South Shore and one from Bispham.
An aerial platform ladder is being used to help bring the flames under control.
A spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue warned members of the public to keep well clear.
They said: "We have 8 fire engines dealing with a fire in a derelict hotel on the Promonade in Blackpool. We were called just after 9pm this evening. Please keep away from the area."
Traffic is being diverted and part of The Prom has been closed.
By 10pm firefighters said they had the fire under control and were conducting a search of the building.
A spokesman said: "The fire is under control and we had ten fire engines at the scene plus specialist appliances. Crews are continuing to search the derelict building and the cause of the fire is now under investigation. The Prom and trams are still closed at this time."
Blackpool transport say trams are currently terminating at The Cabin south Bound and North Pier North Bound.
On July 16 last year, a mattress in a corridor had been set alight inside the hotel. Fire crews were at the scene for 90 minutes to search the property. No one was hurt.
And on October 21 last year, loose rubbish in the basement had been set ablaze by suspected intruders. Police were informed of both incidents.
Claire Smith, of Stay Blackpool, said: "These sort of incidents are the problem that people are facing with large derelict hotels. We went through the same process with The Warwick - they fall into disrepair, people get inside them and sadly they end up sadly like the Ambassador has.
"You can see what is going to happen and it's a circle that is very difficult to stop. You just have to hope that no one is injured and the damage is only to the property and not people.
"Large derelict properties like cause untold problems for hoteliers near to them.
"It's in a prime location, I'm very surprised it has not been sold by now."
The Ambassador was targeted in September last year by 'urban explorers'.
According to comments and pictures posted online, many of the rooms still included beds, lamps and curtains - but images showed glass-strewn floors and broken furniture.