London

New Year Acton pub fire: Revellers flee Aeronaut blaze

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Media captionFootage shows the interior of a pub engulfed by flames during new year celebrations

New Year revellers had to flee from a pub before it was gutted by a fire that started just 30 minutes into 2017.

Partygoers enjoying a "Circus Spectacular" event had to be evacuated from the Aeronaut in Acton, west London, when the fire broke out.

London Fire Brigade said it rescued six people from a first-floor flat above the pub in Acton High Street.

It said half the ground floor was alight and the upper two floors of the building had been gutted.

The neighbouring Acton police station was also evacuated. Scotland Yard said three officers who had rushed to help were being treated after inhaling smoke.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Six people had to be rescued from a first-floor flat above the Aeronaut pub

The pub's website listed a line-up of acts for its New Year event that included musicians, comedians, acrobats and a fire performer.

It is understood that all circus performers had finished before the fire started.

Musician Matt Blair said he was rescued from the roof of the building after his performance with double-act Rayguns Look Real Enough.

He tweeted: "We're fine but 2017 has already got off to a bad start. One of our favourite venues that we just played burned down. Everyone is fine.

Image copyright London Fire Brigade
Image caption An eyewitness described the fire as "pretty scary and shocking"

"We were upstairs, had to get on a roof area and luckily found a ladder we could climb down. Scary stuff.

"It was pretty scary and shocking. Physically we're all fine. Just a bit shocked and sad."

The Metropolitan Police said the cause was not believed to be suspicious while the fire brigade said it was unknown.

At 04:48 GMT, the fire service tweeted that the blaze was under control.

Image caption The Metropolitan Police said the cause of the fire was not believed to be suspicious while the fire brigade said it was unknown
Image caption The Aeronaut was previously called the Redback Tavern and was popular with visitors from Australia and New Zealand

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