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Emergency services scrambled to extinguish a in southern England on Thursday morning as a 400-year-old hotel housing Ukrainian refugees caught ablaze, it has been reported. The Angel Inn, in Midhurst, West Sussex, caught on fire after a historic building nearby on North Street erupted into flames. More than 30 people were evacuated from the hotel, among them refugees who fled the war in . At least three fire services rushed to the scene at 2am on Thursday morning to battle the flames and contain the incident.

Images taken from the scene showed the roof of the Angel Inn collapsing as a nearby fire spread to the hotel.

Residents in the area were told to keep windows and doors closed as smoke fills the area.

One local who lives opposite the hotel said the Angel Inn was “gutted” by the fire, according to Sussex Live.

Hilton Holloway, a motoring journalist, said a fire alarm went off in a nearby restaurant just after 1am. The fire was relatively contained but within 20 minutes it had spread and intensified.

He said he spoke to one young Ukrainian woman who had been staying at the Inn and subsequently evacuated, who seemed “relatively calm”.

But shortly after his conversation, the huge fire intensified as dozens of firefighters and multiple crews rushed to the scene.

Richard Abbot from West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service said: “In the early hours of this morning we were called to a significant fire in a hotel in Midhurst.

“Firefighters are currently working hard to bring the incident under control and 14 fire engines are in attendance.

“More than 30 people were safely evacuated from the hotel and we are currently working with our partners from Surrey, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Services, Sussex Police to bring the incident to a safe resolution.”

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A spokesman for Chichester District Council added: “We’re sad to report there has been a fire at a hotel in Midhurst.

“All of those evacuated have been taken to our rest centre, which we opened earlier this morning. If you live in Midhurst, please make sure that you keep your windows and doors closed.”

Sussex Police are also at the scene and have put in place road closures while the fire is tackled.

The force said in a statement: “Sussex Police officers are assisting the fire service to keep the area safe, and working with partner agencies to support those affected.

“Road closures will be in place in the local area while this incident is dealt with. Further updates will be provided in due course.”