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Huge fire at former Teesside hotel thought to be arson

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The fire that has largely destroyed the derelict Marton Hotel and Country Club may have been started deliberately, according to Cleveland Fire Brigade.

Aerial photographs reveal the full extent of the damage.

The scene in Middlesbrough today. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees
Police are investigating the incident. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees
The remains of the Marton Hall Hotel & Country Club, as seen from the air. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

Cleveland Fire Brigade said:

Currently we believe that the incident was caused deliberately and we’ll be working with our colleagues at Cleveland Police to assist in that investigation and where possible to apprehend the culprit and pursue a prosecution.

– Cleveland Fire Brigade

Crews brought the fire under control in the early hours of Friday morning, but smoke continued to billow from the building through the morning.

The hotel, which closed in 2017, has been gutted by flames, which collapsed large sections of the roof.

It took twelve fire fighting appliances, including an aerial platform, to bring the flames under control.

Crews battled flames on Thursday evening Credit: Evening Gazette

Cleveland Police said a number of people had already provided information and appealed for anyone who may have seen "suspicious people or vehicles" at the site to come forward.

They stressed that it could be two or three days before a thorough investigation of the site could begin.

In a separate statement released on Friday morning, Cleveland Police said:

Police and Cleveland Fire Brigade have remained at the scene of Marton fire overnight. Colleagues from Middlesbrough Council and Northern Gas Networks will return today. The A172 Stokesley to Middlesborough is shut around that area. Please seek alternative routes to Middlesbrough.

– Cleveland Police
At least six fire engines were sent to the scene Credit: Evening Gazette

Five surrounding homes were evacuated on Thursday evening and Cleveland Police urged locals to stay inside and avoid the area.

Evacuated residents have so far been unable to return to their homes.

Huge blooms of smoke could be seen on Thursday evening Credit: Evening Gazette

Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston thanked the fire service for their work and said Middlesbrough Council would provide help to residents needing accommodation.