Regional Press Awards disrupted after fire at central London hotel

The Regional Press Awards lunch was disrupted this afternoon after a fire broke out in the Marriott Hotel in Grosvenor Square, Mayfair.

Around 200 journalists were evacuated from the event at around 2pm this afternoon and, according to attendees, five fire engines and 21 firefighters and officers were at the scene. Everyone was understood to have been evacuated safely.

Just before 3pm event organisers announced that the awards would be moved from the Marriott to the Grosvenor House hotel instead. But ten minutes later the Marriott was given the all clear.

At 3.05pm, the London Fire Brigade announced that part of a lift motor room was damaged but that the incident was "under control".

The awards recommenced shortly afterwards.

The London Fire Brigade had tweeted at around 2.30pm that it was "attending a fire" at the hotel.

Shortly after 2pm the journalists in attendance were forced to wait in Grosvenor Square Garden. Many, though, soon moved on to the Barley Mow pub on Duke Street.

At the time of evacuation, eight awards had been won.

After the awards were resumed, host Nick Ferrari took a fire extinguisher onto the stage with him.

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