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Nearly 180 guests found themselves facing Brussels rainy streets after a fire broke out in the Sofitel Hotel

One guest in hospital

Police officers escort guests staying at the Sofitel Hotel in the centre of Brussels back to their rooms after they had to be evacuated early on Wednesday morning. A fire had broken out in the first floor kitchen, and smoke quickly spread through the entire hotel.

The guests were allowed to go back to their rooms to gather their belongings, but the hotel on Gulden Vlieslaan suffered smoke damage and remained closed until Thursday. Guests were found other hotel rooms nearby.

About 10 of the 179 guests were treated for smoke inhalation. One woman was found unconscious by rescue workers and is in critical condition in hospital. She is in intensive care but is expected to recover.

The cause of the fire appeared to be accidental, though an investigation is underway.

Photo: Thierry Roge/BELGA