Staff praised following fire at Leominster pub
The fire broke out in a deep fat fryer in the kitchen at The Grape Vaults in Broad Street just before midday on Friday, with heat and smoke spreading through the pub. Staff quickly evacuated all of their customers to safety and then tried to extinguish the fire using a fire blanket and fire extinguisher. Realising this wasn't proving effective, they then left the premises themselves and called the Fire Service.
Crews from Leominster, Kingsland and Tenbury Wells attended and firefighters in breathing apparatus went into the pub where they were met with a rapidly developing fire and temperatures of several hundred degrees in the kitchen. Using two hose reels, they brought the fire under control by around 12.40pm, and then ventilated the building to help clear the smoke.
Station Commander Neil Pigott from H&WFRS explained: "The Grape Vaults is a traditional 17th century public house and of a form of construction where fire can spread quickly and unseen through floor and wall cavities. Thanks to the prompt actions of the staff and our firefighters, the fire was quickly brought under control and the most severe damage was contained within the kitchen area and ground floor."
He praised the staff for their effective and calm response in evacuating the customers from the pub and for making the sensible decision to evacuate themselves and alert the Fire and Rescue Service rather than putting themselves at risk.
Following the fire, staff immediately began clearing up the smoke damage in the bar area and the pub was open again for business on Friday afternoon.
The fire was caused by overheating of oil within a commercial deep fat fryer, most probably as a result of thermostat failure.