Midhurst hotel fire: Huge blaze tears through historic inn that housed Ukraine refugees

A huge fire has torn through a historic hotel in Midhurst, West Sussex, that was being used to house Ukrainian refugees.

The blaze broke out at The Swan Inn at around 3am on Wednesday morning, with West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service receiving numerous emergency calls at the time.

More than 20 fire engines and other specialist vehicles were sent to the scene, with more than 100 firefighters battling to control the blaze.

The fire was so severe that it took more than eight hours to bring it under control, and it is understood that the building has been completely destroyed.

No casualties have been reported, and the cause of the fire is not yet known.

The Swan Inn, which dates back to the 19th century, had recently been used to house asylum seekers from Ukraine.

According to the Midhurst and Petworth Observer, the hotel had been taken over by a charity in 2019 and had been converted into a 32 bed “welcoming home” for refugees.

The charity, known as Refugee Support, said it was “heartbroken” by the news of the fire and thanked the fire service for their efforts.

The charity said in a statement: “We are deeply saddened by the news that The Swan Inn in Midhurst, West Sussex, a hotel we have been using to house refugees, has been destroyed in a fire.

“We are thankful that no casualties have been reported and are grateful to the West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service for their hard work in bringing the fire under control.

“We are heartbroken by this news and our thoughts are with all those affected by this tragedy.”

At this stage, it is not clear what caused the fire, but an investigation is underway.

The Swan Inn had been a popular spot for locals and visitors alike for many years before being taken over by Refugee Support.

The historic building, which was believed to have been built in the late 1800s, had also been used to host weddings, events and other functions.