The fire started at midday yesterday (Friday) and at its height saw eight fire appliances and an aerial ladder platform tackling the flames.
It is thought to have possibly started from behind a spotlight fitting on the front of the building but that has not been confirmed by the fire service. The first flames were seen by passer by Sheila Cane who ran to call the fire brigade and is being hailed a hero for her swift action.
Five families have had to be relocated after escaping with only what they were wearing and appeals and collection points for clothes, household items and toiletries as well as money to get the families back on their feet have been set up in Skegness, Ingoldmells and Chapel St Leonards.
A row of shops beneath the self-catering apartments were also wrecked by the fire.
The building was left unsafe and a digger has been brought in to knock it down, leaving only a pile of rubble.
Stephen Coupe commented on Facebook: “The hotel flared up again at 3 o’clock this morning so they are still damping down.”
Dawn Smith commented: “Absolutely in tears looking at the B&B knocked down. All the families and businesses lost everything in the fire. Just been talking to one of the business owners, he lost everything, was staying there as well, bless him. Telling me his kids only got their school uniforms - proper upset me seeing this.”
Colin Ross, who works as an entertainer in the area also posted an appeal to get a couple of laptop computers donated as two of the occupants in the flats were entertainers who earn a living on the holiday resort circuit as karaoke DJs. He said without the computers they would no be able to do their jobs.
Stewart’s Bar in Trunch Lane, Chapel St Leonards has pledged to donate all takings from a table top sale it is holding today between 10.30am and 3pm to help some of those affected by the fire.
Paul Catchum said on Facebook: “Just found out two of our summer staff were living in the Sea Lane Hotel and have lost everything in the fire. All money from stall rent, our stall, kitchen and bar sales that will be taken during the table top sale will go to help these two very unlucky people.
“Any donations also made will go to helping them.”
Gina Stewart at the bar added: “These people only have left the clothes on their backs. We are in need of school clothes, shoes, coats, toys to get them through the next few days.”
She said they need girls clothes aged 1, 2 and 12, boys aged 6 and 7, ladies clothes size 10 to 20 and mens size L/XL.
“We all have a few bits lying around we don’t need anymore. Any donations to be droppped to Stewart’s Bar, Trunch Lane, Chapel.”
Other collection points for donations are the tesco store at Skegness and King’s Chippy.
Samantha Bunting and her husband run Popas Bar at Anderby Creek and have offered one of the families Christmas dinner.