An Ingoldmells woman has told The Standard how she ran to call the fire service after seeing the devastating fire start at Sea Lane Hotel which has rendered five families homeless.
Sheila Cane, 65, lives around the corner from the hotel and had taken her pet chihuahua for a walk at about 11.30am on Friday to the betting shop when she looked back and noticed a flamed coming from a spot light fitted to the roof.
‘A little 12-year-old girl from one of the families was knocking on doors yesterday asking if anyone had any baubles and tinsel. That made me cry.’Sheila Cane
She said: “I saw a little flame and smoke and thought, ‘oh my god’. I ran down the road dragging my little dog. There were no cars passing so I hammered on the door and windows of the police station, banging like mad but there was no-one in.
“I was breathless and bending over trying to get my breath until I got on my mobile phone and called the fire service.
“The fire got worse and the families started coming out of the hotel. It happened so quickly and by the time I had called teh fire had spread.”
Shrugging off suggestions of her being a hero for her quick actions, she said: “I am not a hero. I keep getting flashbacks of it. The families came out with only what they were wearing. One tried to run back in but came back. They were all shocked and the flames and smoke were terrible.
“The owner of one of the restaurants downstairs has only had it for four weeks. He had cleared it out and put in new tables. He tried to get in but the fire brigade made him go back. He has lost everything too.”
Mrs Cane praised the fire crew who had to stay on all night after the fire flared up again.
She said some of the families were staying in a hotel opposite her home.
Mrs Cane said: “A little 12-year-old girl from one of the families was knocking on doors yesterday asking if anyone had any baubles and tinsel. That made me cry. They have got nothing, but everyone is helping them now.”