CUSTOMERS and staff had to flee a popular Cleveleys pub after fire ripped through its kitchen last Friday.
The blaze erupted at The Dickens Inn, on Princess Road, at around 2pm during a busy lunchtime session.
However, the fire would have been far worse but for the quick-thinking actions of one of the chefs.
He bravely fought the blaze as it engulfed the kitchen – preventing it spreading to the rest of the venue.
Fire chiefs praised the man’s actions
Station manager Gary West, from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, went to the scene alongside crews from Fleetwood and Bispham.
He said: “The chef heard the fire alarm go off and wasn’t in the kitchen at the time, but went back in with the fire extinguisher and tackled the fire prior to us arriving.
“Although we never advocate people taking risks to put fires out, his actions would have stopped the fire spreading quite significantly in this particular case.”
The fire broke out in the chip range, and everyone inside had been safely evacuated by the time the fire crews arrived.
When the blaze was initially reported there were concerns someone may be trapped, but firefighters found the premises empty both upstairs and down.
Three fire engines – two from Fleetwood and one from Bispham – attended and firefighters used breathing apparatus to enter the building and positive ventilation techniques to clear the smoke. Mr West said: “Initially we were not sure what the fire was going to be treated as, but following interviews conducted with the landlady and head chef we established it was not suspicious and started in the chip range within the kitchen.
“Although the pub was open for business and people were in eating and drinking they had all been evacuated when we arrived.
The kitchen has been gutted and will need full refurbishing.”