At around 5:20pm on 4 October, I watched a beloved Jesmond bar and hotel go up in flames.
At 5:23pm, the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service were called to the Caledonian Hotel on Osborne Road to put out a “significant” fire that broke out on the top floor. As fire engines arrived, around half a dozen officers from Northumbria Police were seen at the scene to help cordon off the area and evacuate customers in Billabong, as well as residents in nearby houses. Additionally, other residents on the street were strongly advised to keep all windows and doors shut.
A total of seven fire engines and more than 30 firefighters were present
Between 5:23pm and around 10pm, the fire services remained at the scene. A total of seven fire engines and more than 30 firefighters were present with two pumps and an aerial appliance to hose down and manage the disaster.
Group Manager Ian Warne commented at the scene of the fire: “Due to the hotel doing an excellent evacuation, all persons were accounted for, so there has been no injuries at all. I’d like to thank Northumbria Police and North East Ambulance for their support.”
A student resident who witnessed the scene said “It’s a massive shame that a really popular bar with such a good student atmosphere has been affected. It is also terrible that hotel residences have been put in this situation and I hope they all managed to find alternative places to stay.”
Both the Caledonian and Billabong bar – which had been recently refurbished – were popular destinations for visitors of the city and the vast number of university students that reside in Jesmond. Fire investigators were sent in to investigate the upstairs rubble just after 10pm that night, however there are currently no further updates in regards to the cause of the fire or information on how long the Caledonian Hotel and Billabong will be closed.
Last modified: 6th October 2019