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‘It’s tragic’ - Manager of Breckland Lodge says ‘whole building’ is destroyed after major fire

PUBLISHED: 11:26 06 February 2018 | UPDATED: 15:54 06 February 2018

Smoke billows out of the Stag at Attleborough as fire fighters fight the fire. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Smoke billows out of the Stag at Attleborough as fire fighters fight the fire. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2018

The manager of a popular bar and restaurant has said “we will rebuild and we will rebuild better” after a large fire destroyed most of the building.

Smoke billows out of the Stag at Attleborough as fire fighters fight the fire. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYSmoke billows out of the Stag at Attleborough as fire fighters fight the fire. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Fire crews were called to Breckland Lodge, just off the A11 at Attleborough, at 9.20am after a blaze broke out in the roof of the bar and restaurant.

Fifteen appliances were called to the scene with 60 firefighters and guests staying in the hotel, which is a separate building, said they saw the fire “spread before our eyes.”

General manager Colin Kilby described the fire as “tragic” but was thankful everyone was safe.

Smoke billows out of the Stag at Attleborough as fire fighters fight the fire. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYSmoke billows out of the Stag at Attleborough as fire fighters fight the fire. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

MORE: Large fire breaks out at restaurant and bar on A11

“It will hit home eventually,” he said. “The whole building is gone. We will be closed for a little while. Everything can be rebuilt but the most important thing is that everyone is safe and sound.

“We will rebuild and we will rebuild better. It will be disruptive but we will get by.”

Staff and customers were evacuated and The White Lodge was opened across the road for people to take refuge. Staff have also been taking bacon sandwiches to firefighters. The pub tweeted: “Sending our very best wishes to our neighbours @BrecklandLodge. Hoping everyone is safe and damage is minimal. Here if you need us.”

Smoke billows out of the Stag at Attleborough as fire fighters fight the fire. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYSmoke billows out of the Stag at Attleborough as fire fighters fight the fire. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The owner of Breckland Lodge has been informed and is travelling back from Australia.

Furzana Noordin and her husband from Kenya have been staying in the hotel at Breckland Lodge for six nights to visit family. It’s their first time to this part of England.

She said: “We were in the room opposite where the fire started and we saw it start from the roof. It was only small when it started and it spread before our eyes.

Smoke billows out of the Stag at Attleborough as fire fighters fight the fire. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYSmoke billows out of the Stag at Attleborough as fire fighters fight the fire. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“The fire brigade took so long to arrive. It seemed so small. We called reception and asked if they knew there was a fire and she said they were on the way.

“It’s all over the roof. The staff here are lovely and the food is amazing. It’s such a nice place. Our son came up from London to stay tonight because we recommended it.”

Paul Burton who stayed in the hotel last night, and is a repeat customer, was there on business. He said: “I was having breakfast and went back to my room where I was doing a couple of emails and someone came down the corridor saying there was a fire.

Breckland Lodge in Attleborough is on fire. Picture NIALL RAYBreckland Lodge in Attleborough is on fire. Picture NIALL RAY

“The accommodation is separate from the pub but I looked out the window and saw the roof was on fire and I was sitting under it only minutes before. “It just started to spread and it is awful. It’s really difficult for everyone and their jobs. It was five minutes or so until the fire brigade arrived.

“They started to tackle the blaze but it just started to spread. It’s a nice place and this is a pretty major fire.”

Police are in attendance and a spokesperson confirmed the A11 has not been closed as the smoke is blowing in the opposite direction but London Road into Attleborough has been shut.

Norfolk Fire Service attending to a serious fire at Breckland Lodge. Photo: Norfolk Fire ServiceNorfolk Fire Service attending to a serious fire at Breckland Lodge. Photo: Norfolk Fire Service

Breckland Lodge consists of The Stag pub, a hotel, coffee lounge and restaurant which is well known for its carvery.

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