Historic hotel destroyed by raging fire overnight
A FIRE completely destroyed the Imperial Hotel in Gatton overnight.
The unoccupied hotel was burnt to the ground and there is possible smoke and water damage to adjoining buildings.
The fire broke out just before 1am.
Police guarded the scene overnight and fire investigators will return later this morning.
There is not yet any indication whether the fire was suspicious in nature or not.
Fire crews from Toowoomba, Ipswich and the Lockyer Valley were called in to help fight the blaze, but the hotel could not be saved.
Police are urging residents of Gatton to avoid Railway, North, Crescent and Wiggns Sts due to a large fire affecting the area.
The hotel was reportedly in the process of being renovated to include a backpackers accommodation and gym.
Other shops including a Super Cheap Auto and an IGA supermarket on Railway Terrace also sustained some damaged.
A number of firefighters have also been treated for heat exhaustion.
Gatton residents were woken by a loud noise which some thought was from fireworks.
"We heard the explosion and we saw the glow in the street there," a resident told 7News.
"We didn't think it was a street light. Then I looked out the window and she was in flames... Could feel the heat. It was really really hot."