A HOTELIER whose business is next door to the fire-ravaged derelict building has described it as "a disaster waiting to happen."

Ken Robins, who owns the Hotel Celebrity, said the former Orchid Gardens building has been boarded up for many years and has been a fire risk.

Mr Robins is pictured outside the hotel in 2013 after voicing concerns about a fire risk.

More than 100 firefighters tackle blaze at Bournemouth hotel

He told the Daily Echo: ""We have been complaining for years about the totally inadequate precautions taken by the hotel owners to make the property safe and to ensure people cannot easily access the grounds of the hotel and the hotel building.

"For such a major conflagration despite the hotel being empty for several years there must still be considerable flammable materials on site."

'I panicked. I could see the flames coming really close'

Mr Robins said squatters and drug dealers have accessed the building on many occasions and that there have been several fires.

He said he has attempted to prevent access to the site himself because he feared for the safety of nearby properties.

Live updates: Fire crews remain at the scene

The 57-bedroom hotel, also formerly known as the Woodcroft Tower Hotel, was boarded up in 2013 when the business went into administration.