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'We'll throw a party for our fire heroes'.

Byline: Lisa Hutchinson Reporter lisa.hutchinson@trinitymirror.com

FIREFIGHTERS who fought to save a luxury hotel are being invited to a thank-you slap-up party.

And Lord James Crathorne says he will be delighted to attend to raise a glass to the heroes who saved his family home Crathorne Hall.

Teams of staff are working to get the hotel near Yarm ready to be reopened in mid-November. And when they do, Peter Llewellyn, general manager at the Grade II listed hotel, has revealed the party on offer for the fire crews.

Much of the east wing of the hotel, known as the "Ormesby wing" was destroyed in the blaze on Wednesday, October 1. At its height, around 100 firefighters tackled the flames. The destroyed wing has now been screened off from the main building to allow for future events to be relocated. But Mr Llewellyn said it was down to the expertise of the fire brigade, properly-fitted fire doors, along with a 2ft stone wall which stopped the blaze spreading to the rest of the building.

Lord Crathorne, whose family used to own Crathorne Hall, but still lives in the hotel grounds, said: "It would be wonderful to have a party for the firefighters who were the real heroes of the hour. It was magnificent what they achieved and I will certainly raise a glass to them."

Mr Llewellyn, who works for Hand Picked Hotels, which runs Crathorne Hall, said: "I had a sickening feeling when I stood and watched the fire. In the catering trade you become a family at Crathorne Hall.

"To watch the flames was like a fire burning our second home.

"When we reopen in mid-November we will invite the firefighters back for a party to show our appreciation for the important part they played." Mr Llewellyn hopes the east wing would be rebuilt by the summer of next year at a cost of millions.

"The firefighters did a sterling job, they did a textbook job and saved the main house," added Mr Llewellyn. "Without these heroes we could have lost the whole building."

Before the fire Lord Crathorne was last in the hotel on September 12 when 36 family and friends threw a surprise 75th birthday party for him.

He said: "When the house was built in 1903 to 1906, it was the largest house built in Edwardian England. It is massively important architecturally.

"Luckily all the important paintings - the family portraits - were hanging on the walls in the main building and escaped the fire."

CAPTION(S):

Lord Crathorne, left and Peter Llewellyn, hotel manager

Fire crews tackle the blaze at Crathorne Hall. Now they are being invited to a thank-you party by hotel bosses 011014FIRE_59 IAN COOPER

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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Oct 13, 2014
Words:453
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