The Regional Press Awards lunch was disrupted on 15 May, after a fire broke out in the Marriott Hotel in Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, London.
Around 200 journalists were evacuated from the event at around 2pm on 15 May and five fire engines and 21 firefighters and officers attended the scene. Everyone was understood to have been evacuated safely.
It took organisers just one hour to move the awards from the Marriott to the Grosvenor House hotel.
The London Fire Brigade later reported that part of a lift motor room at the Marriott had been damaged but that the incident had been quickly brought under control.
Gareth Davies, reporter at The Argus, the only daily newspaper in Sussex, picked up the gong for young journalist of the year.
He said: “We piled out into Grosvenor Square Gardens and milled around there for a little while expecting it to be a quick thing, but when the sixth engine went by, every hack there knew it was something a bit bigger.
“The staff were brilliant and walked us over to the Grosvenor House Hotel for a few more drinks and then we made our way back to the original venue to finish off the awards.
“We only got served our starter, so free booze all afternoon with only a sliver of smoked salmon lining my stomach ended pretty messily.”
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