Major fire safety hazards which could have put guests at serious risk of harm were found during an airport hotel inspection .

A fire inspector said some exit routes at the Europa Hotel, Gatwick, were blocked with laundry cleaning pallets during their visit.

A Freedom of Information request by The Argus revealed the discoveries made by the West Sussex Fire Authority during its audit on September 16 and 17, 2021.

Several doors were not capable of preventing the spread of fire for long enough because they either did not close into the frame or had excessive gaps while precautions to prevent fire and smoke spreading via shafts, risers or ducting were “inadequate” because old kitchen ducting above a former workstation had been left in place.

There were also faults with fire “devices and sounders”, grease and dirt covering a trouser press and three rubbish skips in different locations around the hotel car park.

The Europa is owned by Britannia, which runs four hotels in the county under the jurisdiction of a Sussex fire authority.

The Argus: Europa Hotel, GatwickEuropa Hotel, Gatwick (Image: Google Maps)

The Argus submitted freedom of information requests for Europa and The Airport Inn, both at Gatwick, from West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.

There were no safety concerns at The Airport Inn.

We also requested reports for the Royal Albion, Brighton, and the Cavendish, Eastbourne, from east Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.

ESFRS would not provide reports for either hotel as it is currently conducting an investigation into the cause of the fire at the Royal Albion on July 15.

“The Fire Authority will not be releasing any more of the requested information, until such time as the ongoing investigations are concluded and it is clear what information is in the public interest to release without prejudice to legal proceedings,” the authority said.

READ MORE: Spate of devastating fires in Sussex since Royal Albion Hotel fire

It did, however, confirm inspectors had visited the Royal Albion 14 times since 2013.

The Argus first contacted Britannia for their response to the Royal Albion fire July 15, now 77 days ago.

We have contacted the company for every story relating to a Britannia hotel since, including this one, and are still awaiting any response.