Midweek Sport - - NEWS - By TOM WHITE

SMOUL­DER­ING dead flies which had been zapped by an elec­tric in­sect killer are be­ing blamed for start­ing a fire that ripped through a Grade II listed ho­tel.

Large parts of Crathorne Hall, near Yarm, North Yorks, were left gut­ted by the blaze when the burn­ing bugs landed on flammable ma­te­rial in the loft.

The flames then quickly took hold and at its height around 100 fire­fight­ers were try­ing to put it out.

No-one was in­jured in the in­ci­dent, which hap­pened on Oc­to­ber 1, but much of the east wing of the ho­tel was de­stroyed.

Alan Bell, the sta­tion master at North York­shire Fire Ser­vice said: “It’s a bit un­usual. We know it was in the area that the fire started.


“There was an is­sue with flies in that part of the ho­tel – that’s why it was put up there.”

Lord Crathorne, who used to own the ho­tel but still lives on the grounds, has since said he would like to thank the fire­fight­ers by or­gan­is­ing a party for them.

A fire spokesman said: “On Oc­to­ber 1, North York­shire Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice at­tended a fire at Crathorne Hall near Yarm.

“Fol­low­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the cause of the fire at Crathorne we con­sider the most prob­a­ble cause of the fire to be an elec­tric fly killer in the roof space of the east wing of the ho­tel.

“Whilst other pos­si­ble causes can­not be fully elim­i­nated we are con­fi­dent that the cause of the fire was ac­ci­den­tal.”

A mes­sage on the ho­tel’s web­site said it would be closed un­til Mon­day, Novem­ber 10 while es­sen­tial re­me­dial work is car­ried out.

Built in Yarm in 1906, the 37-bed­room build­ing is run by Hand Picked Ho­tels.

ZAPPED: Dead flies caused ho­tel fire

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