The Randolph Hotel in Oxford was recently taken over by American owners Graduate Hotels.

But just over five years ago its future was put in doubt when a devastating fire broke out.

The fire started in the kitchen, and the blame was placed on some flambéed beef which caught alight.

Our pictures from April 17, 2015 show just how close the Randolph came to being irrevocably damaged.

Oxford Mail:

More than 80 people were evacuated from the building and no-one was injured.

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Flames quickly spread to the first floor and the roof when the fire at the 150-year-old hotel in Beaumont Street broke out on a Friday afternoon.

Oxford Mail:

The manager at the time Michael Grange said early inquiries pointed to too much cognac in a saucepan of flambéed beef stroganoff being the cause.

Oxford Mail:

Assistant chief fire officer Simon Furlong said the initial kitchen fire was quickly put out but not before it had spread to first floor office areas.

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Mr Grange said about 95 per cent of the five-star hotel was left undamaged but the fire did lead to a major renovation programme inside and outside the building.

Oxford Mail:

Do you have any memories or pictures of the fire?

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Were you in Oxford at the time the Randolph went up in flames?

Oxford Mail:


We’re really excited to launch ‘We Grew Up in Oxford‘, a new online community for everyone who loves our great city. In our new Facebook group, we’ll be delving into the archives - both recent and older - to bring you memories of what it was like growing up and living here through the years.

We hope you’ll join us and get involved in the project, and remember to let us know what memories from your glory days you want to see in the group. We Grew Up in Oxford, so now it’s time to celebrate that. See you there!