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Firefighters tackle roof blaze at historic Westgate Street pub

By CitizenNews  |  Posted: January 22, 2013

  • Fire crews work at to put out the blaze

  • Fire at The Westgate pub

  • Fire at The Westgate

Comments (7)

A pub, fast food restaurant and nearby buildings were evacuated this afternoon after the roof of a historic 16th century pub caught fire.

A number of crews rushed to the city centre at around 2.15pm to douse the flames on the roof of The Westgate bar.

It is believed the fire started in the roof where builders were laying bitumen.

Nearby businesses have been evacuated and people ushered towards The Cross.

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Bar manager Chris Marsh is said to have tried tackling the fire single-handedly before fire crews arrived.

Hundreds of on-lookers stopped as fire crews lifted a crane above the pub to put out the blaze.

Tom Skinner, from Gloucester city MP Richard Graham's office, which is nearby, said: "We could smell smoke and ran around the back where we saw that the roof was on fire.

"Chris, the manager, had blood on his arms and was apparently trying to tackle the fire before firefighters arrived."

Robin Ledbury, owner of The Barbers, which is two doors down, discovered the fire and called 999. He said: "It has all happened so quickly."

Two crews from Gloucester North and Gloucester South initially responded to the call after flames took over at The Westgate pub in Westgate Street, Gloucester just after 2pm.

After quickly assessing the risk, three further engines were called from Cheltenham East, Cheltenham West and Stroud, alongside an aerial appliance.

The 16th century pub, at the gateway to Gloucester's famous Cathedral, was well alight and, because it is an old building, the fear was that the fire could have easily spread to neighbouring properties. 

The fire was brought under control at 3.10pm and at 5pm fire crews were still in attendance as part of a salvage operation.

More than 20 per cent of the roof was damaged by the fire.

Chief Fire Officer Jon Hall said: "This was a great opportunity to show just how quickly and efficiently fire crews work in the county – in this case ensuring a potentially dangerous situation was avoided.

"The aerial appliance was put to good use and shows that we have plenty of tools at our disposal to deal with emergencies as they arise."

Will Windsor-Clive, Cabinet member for communities, said: "I'm delighted the service was so quick to react to this particularly dangerous situation. Any significant damage would have been hugely detrimental to this historic part of the city centre. Speed was of the essence and it is thanks to our quick-thinking crews that a bad fire didn't become much worse."

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  • Matt1006  |  January 22 2013, 5:03PM

    "Bar manager Chris Marsh is said to have tried tackling the fire single-handedly..." - so what were the builders working on the roof (and apparently the cause of the fire) doing whilst the manager was trying to put the fire out? Having a fag break? Getting their stories straight? Legging it...??? Loving the bickering between somebody in the street, and the Citizen (in their offices). Agree that the TiG website seems to be increasingly troubled by bugs / gremlins. Doing some funny things.

    Rate   2
  • misstery  |  January 22 2013, 4:11PM

    hope no one was hurt, gloucester being reduced to ashes 2 fires in the centre in matter of days!!!!

    Rate   2
  • Soft Data Internet Limited  |  January 22 2013, 3:16PM

    In fact a few people in College St were evacuated as they share the access, but no on in Westgate St has been evacuated.

    Rate 0
  • Soft Data Internet Limited  |  January 22 2013, 3:03PM

    Obviously this site is still full of bugs. I can now see my posts, but I have had an email to say that citizen has posted, but despite refreshing the page I cant see your post

    Rate   1
  • CitizenNews  |  January 22 2013, 2:57PM

    Westgate Street has been evacuated from The Union pub down to the corner of The Westgate with a police cordon in place.

    Rate   2
  • Soft Data Internet Limited  |  January 22 2013, 2:51PM

    Is this the same old bugs or was my post removed? I'm in Westgate Street and it has not been evacuated

    Rate 0
  • Soft Data Internet Limited  |  January 22 2013, 2:46PM

    Westgate Street has not been evacuated, despite what the caption says

    Rate 0