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Car burst into flames outside hotel

PUBLISHED: 09:00 30 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:38 01 August 2010

A HOLIDAYMAKER has described how a driver was lucky to get away with his life after a car burst into flames outside a Beccles hotel at the weekend.

Duncan Brookes was staying at the Kings Head Hotel in Exchange Square with his family when he witnessed a BMW crash into a wall of the building in the early hours of Sunday morning.

A HOLIDAYMAKER has described how a driver was lucky to get away with his life after a car burst into flames outside a Beccles hotel at the weekend.

Duncan Brookes was staying at the Kings Head Hotel in Exchange Square with his family when he witnessed a BMW crash into a wall of the building in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The father-of-one claimed he was woken by a huge crash and a high revving engine and watched as a police officer tried desperately to pull the male driver from the burning vehicle.

Mr Brookes said: “An officer instantly ran towards the crashed car, pulling his baton out to smash the passenger window to the crashed car to get the driver out.

“I would like for praise to go to the brave police officer who battled his way into the car to rescue the victim, at one stage he was beaten back by the flames and fear of the car exploding even more and did fall to the ground, however he regained his composure to bravely drag the young gentleman out of the passenger door by his arms.

“I believe that had it not been that there was a police presence in the town then this young driver would not have escaped.”

Mr Brookes said he was initially concerned the fire would spread to the cars parked in the hotel grounds and the building itself.

“It was very dramatic, the sound of the crash was horrifying, the blaze took hold quickly, fluids and oils ignited and the tyres exploded sending debris and toxic thick smoke over a large area.”

Stuart Janes, the hotel's general manager, said that surveyors were coming out to assess the damage to the building.

“The wall is part of a listed building,” he said. “It caused extensive cracks and we have got a surveyor coming to asses the damage. When it is restored, because it is listed, whoever does it will have to go through Waveney conservation.”

Mr Janes added that no-one needed to be moved from their rooms as a result of the crash.

A 22 -year-old man was taken to the James Paget University Hotel in Gorleston for treatment and has been asked to attend Lowestoft Police Station on June 10 for an interview.

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