GOOD Samaritans acted quickly to help those affected by an almighty blaze at a Victorian hotel.

The fire ripped through the roof of the Claremont Hotel in Eastbourne on Friday as flames engulfed the building for hours.

Six people were treated for minor injuries, with one person taken to hospital suffering from breathing difficulties, the ambulance service said.

But, since the inferno destroyed the building, businesses and charities in the area have rushed to support those whose livelihoods have been put at risk by the incident.

A “quickly-assembled alliance of town leaders” has been formed with the aim of aiding hotel staff and their families and “getting them back into work as soon as possible”.

This is being led by Eastbourne-based charity People Matter which offers free services such as CV writing and confidence-building courses.

Charity chief executive Ann Gillard said: “It was a very sad day losing the Claremont but humbling to see the community come together to help those affected by the fire.

“At People Matter we understand how uncertain the future may seem to some staff.

“That’s why we are opening our doors with our specialist support being offered to anyone affected.”

They have been joined in the alliance by the Eastbourne Hospitality Association, the town’s chamber of commerce, the Eastbourne Business Improvement District and Visit Eastbourne.

Eastbourne Hospitality Association’s vice chairman Kristian Hayter said: “Our main concern now is with the staff.

“Christmas time is around the corner. Staff will be paid in the short term but one of the things we really want to do is to present them options with local employers.”

Eastbourne Borough Council also helped those affected by the fire, offering support to them in the inmediate aftermath of the blaze.

It looked after 60 people at its rest centre, the majority of which were residents of Elms Avenue, who were evacuated from their homes.

Blankets, wash kits, refreshments, hot food and pet food were provided as well as beds if they were needed.

Another 20 people were placed in accommodation in hotels and bed and breakfasts.

The council also organised shelter for two cats, who were temporarily housed in the Mayor’s Parlour, and one dog.

A council spokesman said: “Looking ahead, we will be working with all interested parties to ensure the next chapter in the life of this important seafront location can begin.”