29 September 2014

Firefighters in Essex have been praised for protecting surrounding heritage buildings from a fire which destroyed a pub in Bradwell.

Fire broke out at the King’s Head public house after a chip pan was left unattended.

Incident commander Assistant Divisional Officer Dave Moore said: "Bradwell has some of the oldest historical buildings in the country and the pub on the High Street sits at the heart of some very old properties.

“Crews did an excellent job in protecting the village heritage -– they worked quickly and under great pressure, not only to tackle the blaze but in making sure surrounding risks were protected.”

Although investigators have ruled the incident as an accident, Essex County Fire & Rescue Service say that there are lessons to be learnt from the cause of the fire.

Divisional Officer Lee Lucas explained: “"It appears the owners of the pub were preparing for evening service. They cleaned out the industrial chip pan, refilled it and then went up to watch the golf, propping open a fire door.

“All these things added up -– the distraction, leaving cooking unattended and finally the importance of closed doors to prevent fire spread.”

Commercial buildings, non-domestic and multi-occupancy premises in England and Wales are already forced to undertake a 'suitable and sufficient' fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

While the overwhelming majority of premises do this, if the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.