Fire devastates M&B Vintage Inns site

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

Roof destroyed: Ye Olde Six Bells in Horley has been left in a sorry state after fire
Roof destroyed: Ye Olde Six Bells in Horley has been left in a sorry state after fire
Customers had their meals and drinks cut short as a fire broke out at one of Mitchells & Butlers Vintage Inns sites in Horley, Surrey, on Tuesday (28 May) evening.

The fire at the Ye Olde Six Bells on Church Road, reputed to be the second oldest pub in the UK, is believed to have started in the kitchen in a newer part of the building.

About 50 customers, who were at the pub when the fire broke out, were not worried about the severity of the blaze when it began. They took their drinks and food into the pub’s garden while the fire was investigated.

The newer part of the pub took the brunt of the damage

Four fire engines, an area ladder platform and at least 22 firefighters attended the blaze, with some said to be staying throughout the evening to ensure the safety of the building.

Surrey Fire and rescue will be investigating the cause of the fire today (29 May).

A family of three living in the flat above the pub have also been left homeless and without possessions​ following the fire on Tuesday night. 

Roof will have to be taken down

Officials have also said part of the pub’s roof will have to be torn down due to fire damage.

The damage was restricted to a modern addition to the building and not the main part of the 9th century pub.

No one is reported to have been injured and everyone was evacuated from the pub safely.

One patron, Roxie Wood, who was visiting the pub at the time of the fire, said on Facebook: “We were there, something caught fire in the kitchen.”

‘Everyone got out’

Wood added: “Everyone got out into the car park, it didn’t look that bad when we were evacuated,” adding that the fire started at around 7.45pm.

“I don’t think anyone who got evacuated thought that was going to happen, people took their drinks and dinner plates – I guess presuming to be back inside [shortly].”

Katie Matthews, a resident on the same street as the pub, posted a video of the blaze and commented: “How tragic to watch this 9th century pub Ye Olde Six Bells burn on my doorstep, but excellent work from Surrey Fire & West Sussex Fire [Services].”

A Vintage Inns spokesperson said: "The pub will remain closed until all damages are fully assessed and the necessary repairs are completed.

"All guests and team members were safely evacuated and we would like to thank the Surrey Fire and Rescue Service for their swift response in tackling the fire.

"We will look to redeploy team members at our other nearby businesses whilst the pub is closed."

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