A TUMBLE dryer is thought to have caused a blaze that devastated part of a 300-year-old hotel.
The Gordon House Hotel in Kirkcudbright was engulfed in flames on Thursday night, destroying the kitchen area of the Georgian building.
Guests and even people living in adjoining buildings had to be evacuated as a result of the smoke and flames, which took four hours to bring under control.
Geraldine Joshi, manager of the Baytree House B&B next door, said: “I think it was around 8pm and we were having dinner at the Selkirk Arms opposite.
“A friend called to let me know they could see a fire so we rushed out to see what was going on.
“It turned out that the fire supposedly started at the back of the hotel in the kitchen, which is an original part of the building, because of a fault with the tumble dryer.”
According to Mrs Joshi, the Gordon House Hotel has only recently been taken over by new management.
She continued: “I haven’t even really had a chance to get to know the new managers of the hotel yet.
“They’ve only been there a couple of months so it’s a real shame.
Mrs Joshi’s own guesthouse was filled with smoke and fellow hotel owners nearby had to find new beds for their guests at short notice.
She said: “Initially the firemen wouldn’t let us into our house for safety reasons but luckily we managed to get in just in time and save our dogs.
“Our house was completely filled with smoke so we found our residents accommodation nearby in the Gladstone House and Douglas from the Selkirk Arms was arranging hotel space for some people.
“The firemen had hoses going through our place so luckily because the doors were open the whole time so the smoke cleared.
“We were allowed back in at around 1am but things next door were still smouldering until 3 or 4 in the morning.”
A full investigation will now be launched to determine the exact cause of the fire.