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Historic pub gutted in late night blaze
DETECTIVES are appealing for witnesses after fire gutted an historic village pub.
At its peak, more than 60 firefighters tackled the blaze at The Swan Inn, in Hook Road, North Warnborough, last Wednesday night.
The alarm was raised just after 11pm and crews stayed at the scene until 3am on Thursday morning.
There were no reported injuries and no-one was in the pub, which closed in June due to lack of custom.
The cause of the fire is now being investigated. Detective Constable Andy Grieve, from Aldershot CID, said: “Although the fire started late in the evening there may have been motorists on the road who saw something out of the ordinary.”
John Clarke, crew manager at Basingstoke fire station, said the interior of the building had been very badly damaged by the fire that also broke through the roof.
Lynn Collins, 66, who lives in the nearby Swan Mews, said: “At first there was smoke coming out of one window. About an hour later masses of flames came from one end.”
The pub is owned by the Wellington Pub Company and landlady Jo Fairhurst and her husband Barry only moved out on September 14.
Mrs Fairhurst, 60, who now lives in Crondall, said: “It is an absolute tragedy. We took all the precautions when we locked up. Eight days before we were sleeping there and that’s the frightening thing.”
The pub is a Grade II-listed building which dates back to the 16th century and is believed to have been licensed in 1789 for workmen building the adjacent Basingstoke Canal.
Anyone with information about the fire can contact Det Con Grieve at Aldershot police station on 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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