WHITBY’s biggest hotel was evacuated in the early hours of Friday morning after clothes in a tumble dryer caught fire.
Police doing routine patrols spotted the flames through a window at the Royal Hotel and alerted the fire brigade at around 4.40am.
When they arrived they were confronted by a “reasonable fire in the laundry room to put out.”
A full evacuation of the hotel on the West Cliff was put into place but there were no guests in at the time just staff members and no-one was hurt.
It is thought the dryer had overheated and set fire to the clothes and the rest of the laundry room and basement was smoke logged which had to be cleared using a ventilation fan.
Whitby Fire Station watch manager Chris Watson said: “Luckily they did not have any guests in, there was just staff that had to be evacuated.
“The heat detectors set the alarm off but the police saw the fire first because they were driving past and saw the flames through the window.
“The door was open, it could have quite easily spread to the rest of the basement and the cellar room was next door with all the cylinders for the bar but if that had gone up it would have been quite serious.”
The fire crew, which was joined by another from Lythe Station, were at the hotel until 7.15am.
They used two hose reel jets, breathing apparatus and a thermal imaging camera to tackle the fire.
Vicki Glen, hotel manager, said the hotel was open as normal for business and ready for a busy new year weekend.
She added: “It was a small, contained fire and everything carries on as normal.”