The Palace Hotel, near Urlingham went up in flames on Christmas day, in a suspected arson attack.
It was seven o'clock, just before the guests were to have Christmas dinner, when one of the guests, Mrs Scott Henderson noticed the fire. She described her horrifying experience:

"We were just about to have Christmas dinner when I first noticed the fire. I called out as loud as I could and in a matter of seconds we were outside and ticking each other off on lists. Thankfully, due to well rehearsed fire drills and sensible behaviour, nobody was hurt. The fire comes as a shock to all of us, it was a very traumatic experience, but worst of all our beloved palace has been destroyed."
The firemen arrived too late though, and there was nothing more they could do to stop the fire. Police Constable James Burton stated:

"We don't want to speculate at this early stage but we are looking into all possible leads and I would appeal to the public to come forward with any information they may have. At this moment, our thoughts are with the Barnes family, and all who were with them in this tragic event."

The police do not want to give any more information publicly, but we learnt through our internal police sources that the fire was most likely caused by an arson attack, linked to petrol.
The Barnes family are deeply devastated, and are being looked after by friends and family. Our only quote we have from Mr and Mrs Barnes is:

"Whoever started this awful fire will be found, and prosecuted. We will not rest until the culprit is brought to justice."

The police continue to question locals and ask that anyone with any information come forward.