MORE than 45 firefighters were called to tackle a major fire at the Ocean Hotel in Sandown last night (Saturday).

Crews from Sandown, Shanklin, Ryde, Newport, Ventnor, East Cowes and Cowes were all called to the scene.

A caller reported seeing black smoke coming from the roof, and several further calls were received by Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service’s control room.

All floors of the four-storey hotel were affected and 15 breathing apparatus, five main jets and two aerial ladder platforms were used to bring the fire under control.

Firefighters from Fareham, Hightown, Southsea and Droxford were all sent over by ferry late last night to provide relief and further cover for the Island.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Picture by Sandown resident, Stephen Sheaf.

Group manager, Justin Harden said: "Teams worked hard in difficult conditions, particularly early on with challenging wind conditions.

"Crews adapted their tactics accordingly to manage this.

"I’d like to add my thanks to crews from across the Island who worked throughout the night and to the crews from Hampshire who provided support and resilience.

"This was a multi-agency effort and we were well supported by Isle of Wight Police, Isle of Wight Ambulance Service, Southern Electricity, Southern Water, Isle of Wight Council’s emergency planning duty officer, the Coastguard, the Environment Agency and South Central Ambulance Services Hazardous Area Response Team, all of whom helped deal with this situation and manage the wider considerations.

"While the site will be secured, areas of the hotel are structurally unstable as a result of the fire.

"I would now appeal for the public to stay away from the site for their own safety and so that reinspections can be carried out."

Earlier today, police issued an appeal for witnesses.

They confirmed no one was injured, and an investigation into the source of the fire is ongoing.