Early hours fire at former pub and restaurant

CLOSED: The Ashoka restaurant and Bull pub (S)
CLOSED: The Ashoka restaurant and Bull pub (S)

A blaze ripped through an extension of a former Burnley pub and restaurant in the early hours.

The Bull and Butcher pub in Manchester Road, which was most recently the Ashoka Indian restaurant, caught fire shortly after 2-30am this morning (Saturday).

Firefighters were called after reports that the wooden extension at the back of the building was on fire.

Crews from Blackburn, Accrington and Burnley spent around an hour bringing the fire under control.

The extension was destroyed, but the pub building was only slightly damaged.

The firefighters left around 6am after damping the area down and carrying out an investigation.

Crew manager Simon Wright said: “We are investigating how the fire started, but the police have been informed and we are looking at the possibility it was deliberate.”

Last year plans were submitted to Burnley Borough Council to create a restaurant and 10 three and four-bedroomed houses with parking at the former pub.

The landmark building has been empty since 2010 when the Ashoka closed.