Tourists flee blaze in Austrian hotel

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Some 120 mostly Dutch and German tourists were forced to leave their hotel in the Austrian ski resort of Saalbach-Hinterglemm when a fire broke out on Christmas Day. There are no reports of injuries.

On Sunday evening, most of the guests were in the restaurant of the Glemmtalerhof Hotel when the fire started on the top floor. A Dutch volunteer fightfighter, Stefan Schiphorst, who was in the hotel at the time, helped extinguish the flames and evacuate the guests. “But there wasn’t enough water, so we couldn’t do so much,” he said.

Mr Schiphorst said fire fighters arrived at the scene after half an hour. Some 300 fire fighters were deployed from various points throughout the region. The fire service battled through the night to contain the blaze which was finally put out on Monday morning.

Father and son wake up in blaze A father and son had a narrow escape when they were taken unawares by the fire in their bedroom at around midnight.

Hotel owner Karl Schnell said he cannot confirm what caused the fire but suspects it could be due to a technical fault in the sauna. “A catastrophe, it looks gutted,” he said. His own quarters in the hotel have also been destroyed.

The 68-room hotel with 150 beds in the centre of the popular ski resort was fully-booked for Christmas. Several Dutch tourists with bookings at the hotel next weekend will have to find alternative accommodation.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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