Firefighters still at the scene of Ingham Swan fire after 45 are sent to battle blaze
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Firefighters are still at the scene of a devastating fire in Ingham.
Two fire crews are still at the scene of a disastrous fire which has destroyed an historic local pub.
At around 2am on Monday morning, fire broke out in the Ingham Swan pub on Sea Palling Road, soon spreading to the building's thatched roof.
Dozens of firefighters battled the blaze, which not only tore through the top floor of the pub itself, but also the adjoining cottage and gallery.
Crews from Stalham, Martham, Wroxham, North Walsham, Sprowston and Mundesley continue to attend the fire, along with a Water Carrier from Hethersett, Control Unit from Wymondham and a ladder platform from Great Yarmouth.
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John Baker, Norfolk Fire and Rescue's incident commander for the scene, said: 'This is now a scene of utter devastation and were it not for the quick thinking of one of the neighbours, it could have been a great deal worse.
'The owner of a home nearby raised the alarm at around 2am, then rushed around the surrounding area waking everybody up - because of their early actions nobody has been hurt.
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'However, it is such a shame for both the business owners and the occupants of the cottage.'
Mr Baker added that it took a colossal team effort of his firefighters to quell the flames, with crews from across the county working together at the scene.
The owners of the cottage - who also ran the gallery - were away visiting family at the time, but have been informed.
A relative of the owners said: 'This is really devastating for them. Nobody ever wants to be in this dreadful situation, however we are just thankful they are safe.'
The pub tweeted that while no one has been hurt but the building has 'suffered extensive damage'.
On the pub's Facebook page it wrote: 'You may have seen the sad news that we've had a major fire overnight. We can confirm that nobody has been injured which is a blessing but the building has suffered extensive damage.
'We continue to work with fire crews and the relevant authorities at this difficult time. We will keep you posted when we learn more of the situation and we will be in touch with our customers about their bookings in due course.'
Tony Bell, 75 of Hickling, said: 'The pub will be sorely missed - it's such a great shame. It was my favourite place to go for lunch and was only a five minute drive from my home, so it is very upsetting.
'We all hope this will not be the end of the place, as they have done really well earning a good reputation over the years.'
Another resident added: 'It is so bizarre - I only drove by at around nine the night before and the road was full of cars and the place looked really busy.'
The Ingham Swan is a former coaching inn that has stood next to the parish church for 600 years.
The building was constructed in the 14th Century and is the largest historic building in the village.
Owner and Chef Patron Daniel Smith and his business partner, Gregory Adjemian, took on the management of The Ingham Swan in 2010 and before purchasing the freehold in 2013.
In September 2016 Chef Patron Daniel Smith appeared on the BBC's Great British Menu.
The fire is now out and crews remain at the scene.