A family are lucky to be alive after their hotel in Lapland was engulfed in flames in the early hours of this morning.
Shocking footage shows flames leaping up into the night sky as the resort in the Iso-Syote region of Finland was totally destroyed.
Michelle Courtney, who travelled to Lapland with her husband Ben and their four children, George, Kitty, Scout and Hughie, said she was relieved everyone was safe but their "dream Christmas" had been ruined.
Speaking to Mirror Online, Michelle, from Eltham, told of how she spent £10,000 on the once-in-a-lifetime trip.
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They were delayed at Heathrow airport and had only been at the resort for a few hours when the hotel went up in flames.
"This was our dream trip, we’d already been delayed at Heathrow but we were so happy when we got there because the hotel was absolutely stunning, it was so beautiful," Michelle said.
"We got there quite late so it was about half eight Finnish time when we had our dinner and the restaurant was just gorgeous. It was dark when we got there but from what we could see it had incredible views out over the slopes.
"We were staying in one of the cabins and at around 1.30 in the morning people came around banging on the doors saying there was a fire.
"Initially they made it seem like it wasn’t much of a fire but then we had to evacuate.
"Seeing the fire was quite harrowing, especially for the children – it was like a fireball.
"It took ages of for the fire brigade to get there because it’s so remote and by that stage the whole hotel was engulfed in flames."
Michelle added the gifts she had brought to give to Santa for the children were also destroyed in the blaze.
"I had given the reps the presents but they were lost in the fire. The lady from Nordic Experience is trying so hard to sort everyone out but it’s out of their control.
"We’ve been moved to another hotel and hoping to enjoy the rest of our trip.
"It was really scary, we’re just so happy everyone is safe."
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