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royalcliffhotelblaze_017Police are this week appealing for witnesses to come forward as an investigation into the blaze that destroyed the derelict Royal Cliff Hotel in Sandown on Saturday continues.

Hampshire Constabulary earlier this week confirmed they are treating the fire as suspected arson and following an examination of the scene by the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service, the investigations continue to identify the culprit behind the fire, which has completely gutted the once grand hotel off Beachfield Road.

royalcliffhotelblaze_006Local residents told Island Echo on Saturday night that they could smell something odd in the area at around 22:30, indicating that the fire could has been burning for over an hour before anyone realised what was happening – by which time the fire has already taken hold of the former hotel.

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Four pumping appliances, a water bowser and around 25 firefighters worked overnight to bring the blaze – which could be seen from miles around – under control. The charred remains continued to smoke for over a day.

Investigating officer DC Dave Pain of Isle of Wight CID said:

“I’d like to thank the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service and members of the public for all their assistance with our enquiries so far.

“One line of enquiry is appealing for witnesses who saw anyone acting suspiciously after 10pm on Saturday night (October 11) in the Beachfield Road area or the cliff path area of Sandown.”

Witnesses or anyone with information are asked to contact DC Dave Pain at Isle of Wight CID by phoning 101. Information can be given be anonymously by phoning Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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