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Signing off

That’s it from me with this blog. Thanks for sticking with us for all the news on this fire.

Flights suspended at Manchester Airport due to heavy fog and 'emergency repairs'

Live updates on the disruption here.

No cause

I am told as yet there is no cause for what started the fire and there is unlikely to be one for a “few days”.

Fire ripped through hotel

Statement from Flintshire Council

Neal Cockerton, Chief Officer Organisational Change said;

“A rest centre was opened at Deeside Leisure Centre where housing and social services staff were available to offer advice and assistance to 25 hotel guests and staff evacuated from the scene of the fire.

“Staff were able to assist a number of people find alternative accommodation and the rest centre has now closed.

“The Council’s Streetscene team provided support to the emergency services in relation to road closures and managing diversions as required.”

Ken Skates AM says improvements needed

Flintshire Council yet to comment

I am told to expect a statement from Flintshire Council regarding the fire but I have not heard anything yet.

“I thank God that nobody was hurt"

Cllr Christine Jones said:

“It is so surreal - it has just been horrible. I often go to the hotel for conferences or for weddings and christenings.

“It’s a very popular place because it is such a lovely place and it is easy to get to.

“There are also a lot of locals who use it for the gym.

“I thank God that nobody was hurt.

“The fire service have been amazing they have been there since 4.30am and some are still here and they just look exhausted but are carrying on.”

Update from Natural Resources Wales

Good afternoon

Hello and good afternoon. I’ll have any further updates on the investigation into the fire, with a statement from Flintshire Council expected imminently.

Signing out

That’s all from me for today but my colleague Tom Davidson will be with you shortly.

Offers for help flooding in

Residents have been offering up spare rooms, food, clothing and toys to those affected by the fire.

Some families remain at Deeside Leisure centre following the fire while others are staying with friends and family.

We’re just awaiting an update from Flintshire Council to find out what the current situation is for those affected. We’ll update you as soon as we can.

Smell of smoke lingering

There is still a strong smell of smoke in the air as firefighters remain at the scene.

Two dead in hotel fire in Scotland

Two people have been killed in a fire at a Scottish hotel.

Around 200 guests had to be evacuated from the Cameron House Hotel near Loch Lomond after a blaze broke out at 6.40am.

One person was pronounced dead at the scene while a second died at hospital.

Three other people, including a child, have also been injured.

Video shows fire ripping through hotel

This video shows the blaze in the early hours of the morning.

'It was our home'... family who had been put up in blaze hotel made homeless again by fire

Some of the people who had to flee the blaze at the Gateway To Wales hotel were homeless families who had been put up their by the council. Forty-seven guests were lucky to escape with their lives after flames took hold of the building on Welsh Road just before 4.30am today, including Stacey Roberts and her family. The 26-year-old was staying in the Deeside hotel with her baby son and partner when they were jolted awake by the fire alarn just before 4.30am today.

Disabled man carried out from burning building

We are also told that the night porter saved the life of a disabled man in a wheelchair.

Cllr Christine Jones said: “The night porter was absolutely amazing. He got everyone out including families and a man in a wheelchair.”

Families continue to be supported at leisure centre

I am told there are still a couple of families being looked after at Deeside Leisure Centre. A number of guests were also sent to Deeside fire station in the aftermath of the blaze.

'It could have been a tragedy'

Sealand county councillor Christine Jones has told how the community has been left in shock but are pulling together to help those affected.

She told the Daily Post: “It is horrible. The whole community is in shock – this could have been an absolute tragedy. Forty seven lives could have been lost. I thank god that everyone is okay and that is thanks to the actions of the hotel’s night porter and our amazing firefighters. The main thing is nobody has been killed – it could have been so much worse. There were four children being temporarily housed by Flintshire County Council and our teams from social services and housing are supporting them. They have been fantastic and are doing everything they can. The flats nearby were only moved in to a week ago – it is awful just a week before Christmas.”

Cllr Jones said that she has been inundated with messages offering families places to stay or clothes and toys.

She told how the hotel is popular amongst residents celebrating weddings, christening and birthdays as well as people going to the gym inside the hotel.

Cllr Jones told how firefighters at the scene look exhausted but continue to work hard.

A494 re-opened

Good news - still some delays in the area.

'The heat coming off the fire was immense'

Residents at a nearby new-build block of flats were also evacuated as police banged on their doors at about 5am.

Danny Lawton, who lives in the flats with his girlfriend and baby, told the Press Association: “We grabbed the baby and her stuff and headed downstairs, and the car park was already full of people. The heat coming off the fire was immense. The whole roof and top floor was on fire and the surrounding area was just full of smoke and flashing blue lights. There was a dozen or more fire trucks and police cars.”

The 24-year-old machine operator added: “I was told to move my car as quick as I could as the heat would melt it - that’s how close it was. As far as I’m aware the fire has been put out and the building has burnt down to just a shell.”

Three hurt in four vehicle crash which shut A55

A four-vehicle pile-up closed a stretch of the A55 in both directions. The crash took place on the eastbound carriageway at Ewloe near the junction with the A494 at around 9.30am, on a road that was already blocked with traffic, delayed by a fire at the nearby Gateway to Wales hotel. Both sides of the road were closed for more than 90 minutes due to the collision, causing three mile long huge queues.

'We're all traumatised' - homeless family caught up in blaze

Stacey Roberts, 26, was staying in the hotel with her six-month-old son and partner when they were jolted awake by the fire alarm.

She said: “The alarm stopped and then started again. No member of staff was seen, no sprinklers went off - if it wasn’t for a gentleman shouting through the corridors ‘Fire, fire’ ... I dread to think. We’re all traumatised. We’re homeless and that’s where Flintshire County Council placed us. We booked in on Saturday night, so now we’re sitting with friends and family until the council office opens. The Gateway To Wales was our home. It’s just awful.”

What we know so far

The first floor of the Gateway To Wales Hotel in Deeside on the North Wales border was destroyed by the blaze, while 80% of the ground floor was severely damaged, said fire chiefs.

Emergency services were called at about 4.30am and seven fire engines and two aerial ladder platforms, and six ambulances rushed to the scene in Welsh Road.

All of the 47 guests managed to escape before fire crews arrived thanks to smoke detectors sounding.

A high volume pumping unit is also being used to help douse the roof space of the building.

Two roofs surrounding the reception entrance were partially collapsed.

Fire crews say a joint investigation involving police will take place but it is too early to say where the fire broke out or what caused it.

Firefighters will remain at the scene for most of the day.

Nearby residents and hotel guests have been evacuated to Deeside Leisure Centre.

Chief says cause of hotel blaze that took 60 firefighters to control not yet known

The fireman in charge of the operation to tackle the inferno at the Gateway To Wales hotel says investigators are yet to find out what caused the blaze.

Senior Operations Manager Stuart Millington said crews battled the blaze from around 4.30am, with up to 60 firefighters involved in the effort.

He said all guests and staff had managed to get out of the building, just off the A494 in Deeside, because smoke alarms had alerted them to the fire.

Fire destroys the Gateway to Wales hotel
Fire destroys the Gateway to Wales hotel

More than 60 firefighters tackled blaze

Stuart Millington, Senior Fire Safety Manager for North Wales Fire and Rescue Service has spoken to the Daily Post about the blaze.

He tells us that upwards of 60 firefighters battled the blaze to begin with and when they arrived on the scene the building was very much alight.

He has confirmed that the smoke alarms in the hotel did sound which enabled guests to make their escape unassisted by fire crews.

Unfortunately, the hotel has been destroyed. It is not clear how or where the fire started.

A494 lane closures to be lifted in next hour

Flintshire council also tell us that the closures on the Drome Corner Eastbound off-slip and the two lanes of the A494 eastbound will be removed by 1pm today.

Welsh Road to remain closed

Flintshire County Council tell us that Welsh Road - where the hotel is situated - will remain closed “until further notice”. The fire service tell us that they expect to remain the scene for most of the day.

Road delays

The fire and a crash on the A55 have caused a lot of traffic disruption across Deeside. Currently about a two-mile queue from the A494 Drome Crone (opposite the hotel) towards the A55 at Ewloe. Not helped by the earlier crash on the eastbound carriageway at Ewloe.

Also major disruption in Garden City, Queensferry and Connah’s Quay due to the closure of Welsh Road.

Delays in Deeside after hotel fire
Delays in Deeside after hotel fire (Image: Google)

Offers for help being made

Kind-hearted members of the community are taking to social media to offer food, blankets and clothes to those affected.