A HUGE fire tore through a seaside hotel last night (Sunday, September 13) causing part of the building to collapse on to the road.

More than 40 firefighters fought to control the blaze at the Harbour View Hotel, in North Terrace, Seaham, as local people were evacuated as a precaution.

Police said the fire was so severe that part of the Harbour View Hotel, in North Terrace, Seaham, collapsed into the pavement and road. No-one was believed to be in the hotel at the time.

County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service group manager Andy Bruce said, emergency services were alerted to the blaze at 10.20pm last night (Sunday).

He said: “There were seven fire appliances at the scene, as well as two aerial ladder platforms – one of which was from the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service.

"Because of the size of the fire we also had a incident command unit at the scene. Firefighters managed to bring the blaze under control by 2.40am but were still damping it down this morning (Monday, September 14).

Officers from Durham Police, the North East Ambulance Service HART team also attended the fire.

Mr Bruce said the building had been completely gutted by the fire.

He added police and fire crews would continue to investigate the cause of the fire tomorrow (Tuesday, September 14).

Inspector Jason Meecham, of Durham Police, said: “Due to the intensity of the fire the building, which was not believed occupied at the time, has partially collapsed on to the pavement and road.

“To ensure public safety, North Terrace remained closed to both pedestrians and vehicles pending a structural assessment.”