‘Cheers, we’re still open’ says the fire hit pub

The Queens Head pub on Churchgate street is still open''Pictured: Jan and Joanne Rutherford
The Queens Head pub on Churchgate street is still open''Pictured: Jan and Joanne Rutherford
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It is business almost as usual at The Queen’s Head in spite of a fire so fierce it melted a stainless steel cooker hood.

Lunch customers had to be evacuated from the pub last Tuesday after a deep fat fryer caught fire in the kitchen. But staff rallied round and the 17th century pub in Churchgate Street, Bury St Edmunds, reopened for business at 11am next day.

Landlord Mark Nicolson said: “Some people seem to think the main building burnt down so we thought it best to let people know we’re open.

“We’re not able to provide a full kitchen service but we’re still providing snacks, a limited range of baguettes, soup and salad, just not massive cooked meals.”

Maintenance work had been carried out on the fryer earlier in the day. Nobody was seriously hurt in the fire.

Mr Nicolson said: “I received a few minor burns on my hands and face trying to tackle it with a fire blanket. It just got so hot it was spluttering and popping.

“When I saw 10ft flames, I decided to get out! It melted the stainless steel canopy above it, it got so fierce.

“We’re fortunate that the fire doors did their job and we had practically finished kitchen service so only had two tables still in.”

He does not yet know when the kitchen will be fully operational again.