Celebrities flee blaze at hotel
Published 02/07/2011 | 00:22
Around 1,500 people have been evacuated from an exclusive London hotel after a fire broke out following a star-studded music awards ceremony.
Celebrities including Annie Lennox and Liza Minnelli were reportedly among the guests forced to flee the Hilton in Park Lane after a blaze took hold of the second floor.
Around 50 firefighters, including senior fire officers and fire investigators, battled for more than seven hours to extinguish the blaze at the 28-floor building which overlooks Hyde Park.
London Fire Brigade (LFB) said they were alerted shortly before 7pm on Friday to reports of smoke in a second floor kitchen vent and in the basement.
A LFB spokesman said eight fire engines were used to pump water on the flames and an aerial platform was used as a "cherry picker" to survey the fire.
Television pictures showed roads in the busy area of the city were closed off to traffic.
The Metropolitan Police said nobody was injured in the blaze, which is being probed by fire investigators.
Small groups of guests were later allowed back into the hotel in what the brigade described as a "phased reoccupation".
Earlier on Friday the hotel hosted the Silver Clef Awards in which Sir Paul McCartney was honoured as the year's best live act. Sky News said stars who had attended the event such as Lennox, Minnelli, Status Quo and Tinie Tempah were among the evacuees.
The annual charity event is formally known as the Nordoff Robbins O2 Silver Clef Awards.