A large fire has destroyed the historic Imperial Hotel and damaged several other businesses in Queensland’s Lockyer Valley.
It is understood the heritage listed pub in Gatton’s centre caught fire just before midnight.
36 firefighters from Toowoomba, Gatton and Ipswich were called in to fight the blaze, but the hotel could not be saved.
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No one was staying inside at the time and a local alerted fire crews to the fire.
According to initial reports, the hotel was under new ownership after closing its doors in 2013 and was set for a $1.7m renovation to turn the business into a backpackers’ hostel.
Related: Police are guarding a house in Loganholme this morning after it was destroyed by fire on Wednesday. Read more