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Hundreds evacuated after Regional Press Awards fire alarm

Hundreds of guests were evacuated from the Regional Press Awards midway through this afternoon’s ceremony.

Guests at the event, held at the Marriott, Grosvenor Square Hotel in London, had to leave the building just as they were sitting down to their main course after a fire alarm.

A total of eight awards had been handed out prior to the evacuation – including Finance Journalist of the Year, won the Birmingham Mail’s business editor Jon Griffin.

Jon had been at risk of redundancy earlier this year as a result of a restructure at Trinity Mirror’s Midlands titles, although the threat was later lifted.

Other winners include Gareth Davies, of The Argus, Brighton, won Young Journalist of the Year, while the Feature Writer award went to the Leicester Mercury’s Lee Marlow.

Photos of the evacuation have been widely shared on Twitter by attendees, including the below image by Trinity Mirror digital innovation editor Alison Gow, who remarked there had been “so many lunges to save the wine”.


It is understood a faulty machine caused several rooms at the venue to fill up with smoke.

Guests were briefly moved to nearby Grosvenor House, where they were given glasses of champagne.

They later returned to the Marriott to resume the ceremony, although the food left behind has been removed due to it being damaged by smoke.


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  • May 18, 2015 at 8:58 am

    Years ago I was a guest of a colleague who was an award winner, at a swish London Hotel, It was the evening of the fire at Windsor Castle, several picture desk executives missed a few drinks.

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