Gosport newlyweds flee fire at their wedding celebrations

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A BRIDE and groom were forced to flee their wedding celebrations at an historic castle after a fire tore through the building.

Robert and Alex Ballard, from Gosport, had just enjoyed their first dance at the Ryde Castle Hotel on the Isle of Wight when a fire broke out on the roof.

Robert, 23, and his bride Alex, 21, fled the blazing hotel on Saturday night as firefighters started a 12-hour battle to save the castle.

The newlyweds were put up in a bowling alley and a church for the night before returning home in the early hours.

Robert told The News: ‘We just couldn’t believe it. It took hold so fast.

‘When the fire alarm went off, people didn’t think it was real to start with.

‘But by the time we were led from the back of the hotel to the front the roof was well alight.

‘It’s not how we imagined the day would end.’