The 93-year-old Royal Hotel in Roma in south-west Queensland was destroyed after catching fire as football supporters gathered to watch the rugby league Four Nations final. The hotel was one of Roma’s oldest buildings and a major source of employment.
Early reports suggest that a piece of kitchen equipment started the fire, which soon engulfed the entire building. However, the precise cause has yet to be established. The quantity of alcohol stored in the premises is believed to have accounted for the speed in which the fire spread. No casualties were reported, but neighbouring businesses were badly damaged by smoke and heat from the blaze.
Four crews from Queensland Fire and Emergency Services attended the blaze. Many firefighters narrowly escaped injury when the building suddenly collapsed. The hotel was rebuilt after being destroyed by fire in 1915.