13th Century thatched Pandora Inn on fire in Cornwall


Forty firefighters have tackled a fire at a 13th Century thatched pub and restaurant near Falmouth in Cornwall.

Six fire appliances were initially called to the Pandora Inn at Restronguet Creek at about 1125 GMT.

The whole of the roof was found to be well alight and then collapsed into the first floor, the fire service said.

Residents in the vicinity were asked to stay in their homes and keep windows and doors closed. No-one is believed to have been hurt in the incident.

Fire crews were called from Falmouth, Redruth and Truro.

Heavy smoke emanated from the building, which is formerly a farmhouse with sections dating back to the 1200s.

Part of the upstairs of the St Austell Brewery pub later collapsed as a result of the fire.

The fire service said the fire was under control by 1300 GMT.

'Offshore winds'

Pub landlord Steve Franks said he said he believed the fire started as he was lighting fires in fireplaces and that something ignited after wind blew through the building.

He said: "With the wind going through the way it was, it went straight through the building. It took hold within minutes."

Mr Franks, his son and his staff escaped the building unhurt, but Mr Franks said that he had been left with only the clothes he was standing in.

He said: "All the personal belongings, every photo, every piece of clothing; all I've got on on now is all I've got.

"But at least no-one's hurt, that's the main thing".

Falmouth Station Commander Justin Sharp said: "There were strong winds coming offshore, so it really took hold quickly."

He added that crews were expected to remain at the scene for some time.

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