Local crews among 20 to tackle thatch pub fire

White Hart fireLYME Regis and Charmouth were among 20 crews called to a pub fire in Wilmington, near Axminster, yesterday (Sunday).

The thatched White Hart in Wilmington has been left severely damaged following yesterday’s blaze.

Eight crews from Honiton, Axminster, Colyton, Ottery St Mary, Seaton, Charmouth, Lyme Regis and Sidmouth were sent, along with a water carrier and an aerial ladder platform from Danes Castle, a welfare unit from Crediton, a high volume pump and an environmental protection unit from Taunton, an incident command unit from Wiveliscombe and an incident support unit from Martock.

On arrival, the first crew assessed the scene and requested another four pumps, which were sent from Exmouth, Bridport and two from Middlemoor, and crews went about making a fire break in the thatch using four compressed air foam lances, four ladders, six breathing apparatus and four hose reel jets.

The Bridport crew were salvaging the owners’ possessions and valuables.

Just after 2pm, the officer in charge requested another three engines, making it 15 pumps. These came from Cullompton, Newton Abbot and Chard.

Just before 2.40pm the fire break and salvage was complete and crews continued to strip the thatch in the affected area of the roof.

The fire was reduced to eight engines at 4.30pm and at 5.25pm, progress was still being made stripping the thatch from the roof and preparing to cover it with salvage sheets. It was reduced to six fire appliances.

Owners are now today calling on members of the community for help as they embark on a major clean up mission.

“All the team here will work very hard to try and get the pub open for next week. But we need your help,” a post on social media said.

“We need anyone that has a little time to spare that could maybe come along to the White Hart and help us to clear the garden and grounds.

“If you can help, please bring a brush, a rake or a wheelbarrow. Also mobs, buckets and cloths would be helpful.

“We also have a car park full of thatch that we need to move somehow – if you have any ideas, please let us know.”

Woodmead Halls

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