Police investigating suspicious fire in bar of former East Lothian hotel

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POLICE are probing a suspicious early morning fire at a former East Lothian hotel.

The blaze broke out shortly before 5am today (Tue) at the Tranmare Bar and Restaurant on Haddington Road in Tranent, causing “significant damage” to the interior.

It took fire fighters around two hours to put the flames out and a joint investigation was launched by Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service and Lothian and Borders Police, which indicated that the fire had been started deliberately.

No one was hurt in the incident as the bar was empty and the building has not been used as a hotel for a number of years.

The property is split into two blocks, with the fire starting in the bar area on the ground floor, which is often used as a function suite.

The second block, which used to house guests in the hotel, was not affected.

The alarm was raised when someone saw smoke coming from the building and a spokeswoman for the fire service said fire fighters had worked to extinguish the blaze in a heavily smoke-logged area.

The main windows of the function room had been blown out by the flames and smashed glass lay on the grass below.

Police put up a cordon and closed roads around the hotel while fire officers investigated the cause of the blaze.

A pub landlord at the Plough Inn on the High Street in Tranent said the suspicious blaze had caused a bit of a stir within the town, and his customers had been talking about it all day, but no one could shed any light as to why the fire had been started.

The owner of the Tranmare was believed to have been in London, and was making his way back tonight (Tue).

Detectives urged anyone with information about the incident to contact them.

A police spokesman said: “Inquiries carried out by Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service indicated this fire had been started deliberately and we are now investigating to find those responsible.

“Anyone who saw any suspicious activity in or around the Tranmare Hotel before 5.25am this morning is asked to contact police immediately.

“Similarly, anyone with any other information that can assist with our inquiries is also asked to get in touch.”

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