Chief reporter, By Kelly-Ann Kiernan
Thursday, November 11, 2010
The former Clock Hotel in Welwyn is on fire.
A dozen fire engines and two aerial ladder platforms from across the area are tackling the blaze at the large hotel complex near junction six of the A1(M) at Welwyn.
Crews were called at 2.30pm today (Thursday).
Kirsty O’Neil, from Fuschia Pink Florists, was delivering flowers in Welwyn when she drove past the blaze.
“The Clock section is still standing, but the middle section is totally gone.
“It’s completely up in smoke. There’s going to be nothing left.
“There’s smoke billowing across the road and over the A1(M). It’s incredible.”
Drivers on the motorway were having to brake as the smoke from the fire spread across the road.
One driver who called the Welwyn Hatfield Times said: “You can see the flames from the motorway.
“Everybody is having to brake to be able to see through the smoke.”
Welwyn Hatfield Times photographer Casey Gutteridge said: “There are drivers trying to slow down and take photos from their cars on the A1(M).
“They are all getting shouted at by the police officers. It looks really dangerous.”
A police spokeswoman said the A1(M) was remaining open, however the Highways Agency has confirmed a speed restriction is in place.