Grateful owners of Ribble Valley pub hit by freak fire thank community for offers of help and support
The owners of a popular Ribble Valley pub have thanked residents and the business community for their support after a devastating blaze at the premises.
"We have been inundated with messages from people wanting to help and we would like to thank everyone for their kindness and support. It really means a lot to us," said Lauren Frost, who owns the Three Millstones in West Bradford with her husband Matthew.
An investigation is underway by Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service after the blaze, which is believed to have been caused by soaring temperatures heating up an extractor fan that set an outdoor pizza oven on fire.
The flames then took hold of the decking area and spread to the roof of a separate building which houses five guest bedrooms.
Quick thinking resident Paul Watson rang 999 when he spotted the blaze on Monday, one of the two days the pub is closed.
Matthew and Lauren were on their way to Alton Towers for a rare day out with their four children Francesca (12) nine-year-old Billy and twins Amelia and Darcie, who are six, when they received a phone call from their general manager Rachael Hodgson.
Lauren, who grew up in Nelson, said: "It was awful not knowing the extent of the fire but we tried to keep conversations low key on the way back so as not to worry the children."
Six fire engines, the command support unit, the aerial ladder platform from Hyndburn and the stinger from Blackburn, were called to grade two listed building and six firefighters wearing breathing apparatus tackled the flames using three hose reels and two jets.
They remained at the scene for 18 hours damping down hotspots in the roof of the annexe building.
The main part of the pub, including the kitchen and five bedrooms, were not affected and the main restaurant is due to re-open tomorrow.
Lauren said: "The damage caused to the five bedrooms affected is water damage as the flames spread to the roof so it will be a while before we can re-open them.
The couple bought the pub in 2008 and employ a small team of staff with Matthew as head chef. He is originally from Fence and his parents, David and Melanie Frost, previously owned The Forest at Fence.