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Brothers devastated after fire guts kitchen at Box pub
Two brothers were left devastated after a fire swept through the kitchen of their five star Box hotel and restaurant yesterday evening.
Fire crews were called out to The Northey, in Bath Road, at 5.20pm when a member of the public noticed the kitchen roof was on fire.
The blaze spread and the roof of the kitchen, based at the rear of the Northey, collapsed through the extractor fan.
The fire, which saw the A4 from the A365 Box junction to the junction of Middle Hill and Ditteridge closed until around 8pm, was put out at around 6.45pm. No-one was injured but the blaze has severely hampered the owners’ preparation to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend.
Mark Warburton, who has run the Northey with brother Matthew since 2004, said: “I’m just really pleased that we are so strict with our regular fire checks and, despite this being a huge blow to us, the main thing is nobody was hurt or killed. Once everybody was out I did one last sweep of the building to make sure nobody was inside.
“Everything has just been a nightmare, we’d started the week so well and had the big bank holiday on the horizon and we were anticipating our best week ever.”
Four fire crews, two police cars and an ambulance, passing through Box on the way back from Royal United Hospital Bath, attended the incident.
Wiltshire Fire and Rescue believe the fire, which has ruined the kitchen and severely damaged its roof, was accidental but a cause of the blaze has yet to be found.
There was no damage to any other part of the hotel other than the kitchen which meant food couldn’t be served to guests yesterday or today, although the Warburtons hope to have a mobile kitchen working over the weekend.
Brother Matthew was out at the time of the fire and arrived back in Box to find crews trying to get the blaze under control.
He said: “It was absolute carnage and it obviously a really sad thing to have happened but we are just trying to get back to normal although it will take some time. The fire crews have told us they haven’t found any reason why it started but the main thing for us is that nobody was hurt.”
Mark Unwin, Corsham watch manager for Wiltshire Fire and Rescue, lead one of the crews who put out the fire at the Northey.
He said: “It was all brought under control quite quickly but if it was in the main part of the pub it could have been a much different situation and that’s putting it mildly.”
Customers with weekend bookings for meals at the pub are advised to ring the Northey on (01225) 742333 as some information on reservations was lost in the blaze.