Chef in pub blaze drama

Fire at The Dickens, Cleveleys

Fire at The Dickens, Cleveleys

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A CHEF bravely fought a fire which engulfed a pub kitchen – preventing it spreading to the rest of the venue.

Fire chiefs praised the man’s actions after a blaze broke out at The Dickens Inn, in Cleveleys, on Friday lunchtime.

Customers and staff had to flee the popular Rough Lea Road pub as fire ripped through the kitchen at around 2pm.

Station manager Gary West, from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, went to the scene alongside crews from Fleetwood and Bispham.

He said: “The chef heard the fire alarm go off and wasn’t in the kitchen at the time, but went back in with the fire extinguisher and tackled the fire prior to us arriving.

“Although we never advocate people taking risks to put fires out, his actions would have stopped the fire spreading quite significantly in this particular case.”

The fire broke out in the chip range, and everyone inside had been safely evacuated by the time the fire crews arrived.

When the blaze was initially reported there were concerns someone may be trapped, but firefighters found the premises empty both upstairs and down.

Three fire engines – two from Fleetwood and one from Bispham – attended and firefighters used breathing apparatus to enter the building and positive ventilation techniques to clear the smoke.

Mr West said: “Initially we were not sure what the fire was going to be treated as, but following interviews conducted with the landlady and head chef we established it was not suspicious and started in the chip range within the kitchen.

“Although the pub was open for business and people were in eating and drinking they had all been evacuated when we arrived.

“The kitchen has been gutted and will need refurbishing and replacement electrical appliances.

“There is also smoke damage to the pub.

“Two fire engines remained on the scene until around 4.30pm breaking down the remaining damaged items, charred beams, and making sure there were no hot spots within the kitchen.”