Welwyn Garden City man trapped in hotel by boiling water flood

PUBLISHED: 14:53 28 July 2017 | UPDATED: 15:33 28 July 2017

Welwyn Garden City resident Peter Ellis, who was staying at the Lenwade House Hotel in Norwich. Photo: Peter Ellis

Welwyn Garden City resident Peter Ellis, who was staying at the Lenwade House Hotel in Norwich. Photo: Peter Ellis


A hotel guest from Welwyn Garden City has spoken of his horror after waking up to find the corridor to his room filled with steam and "boiling hot" water.

Peter Ellis said he was woken by a “terrible noise” in the early hours of Tuesday while staying at the Lenwade House Hotel, in Fakenham Road, Norwich.

As the 58-year-old opened his bedroom door to investigate, he found the hotel corridor flooded and shrouded in hot steam.

“It was an absolute horror,” Mr Ellis said. “There was hot steam in our faces and boiling hot water on the floor, and we couldn’t get out of the hotel.”

The property investor said he ran over to his first-floor window and saw guests below already climbing out of their rooms.

“The ceilings downstairs had begun to collapse and people were climbing out of their windows to escape,” he said. “They were shouting ‘get out, get out’, but we couldn’t.”

He said he had phoned reception at around 3.30am to find out what was going on, but no one picked up, and was left trapped in his room for around an hour.

Mr Ellis, who was with his partner at the time, said they were eventually helped out of the room by the fire service.

It later emerged that the flooding had been caused by a burst valve on the hotel’s immersion heater, and a hotel spokesman said eight bedrooms were directly affected and some corridor ceilings had collapsed.

After joining around 20 other guests waiting outside the hotel, he was eventually told at 7.30am that the hotel was closed and they would have to find alternative accommodation.

A spokesman for the hotel, which is located north-west of Norwich, said the damage from the flood resulted in a three-day closure.

The spokesman said no guests, including a large wedding party, were left “out of pocket”.

Responding to claims that a fire alarm did not work when it was smashed by a guest, the spokesman said there had been a fault.

“We did everything by the book,” the spokesman said. “Unfortunately people had to leave but we could not continue running the business this week.”

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