Historic Hereford pub destroyed by fire

Pub

A 15th Century pub has been gutted in a fire    which spread through a historic part of        Hereford city centre.

More than 100 firefighters were called to the High  Town area, where Booth Hall was engulfed in  flames.

Police said an electrical fault was believed to have  caused the fire, which broke out at about 0425 BST.

Three four-storey buildings containing River Island, Card Factory, Ann Summers and a mobile phone shop were also badly damaged, the fire service said.

The Booth Hall site, which dates back to 1392 and became a pub in the 15th Century, is a separate building.

Twenty fire engines were called to the scene and the area affected measured about 100m by 80m, the fire service said.

The head of policy and education at the chamber of commerce, said the fire was going to have “a major impact” on trading.

He said: “People will avoid the town centre today and this will affect the surrounding businesses who have managed to open.

“The impact in the medium term is unknown at the moment as it will depend on the severity of the fire and how long businesses are required to close.”

The council pledged support to local businesses affected by the fire by helping them to find alternative suitable premises.

The economic development team was scouring the city to identify potential properties for temporary or permanent occupation.

From: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hereford-worcester-11593504#story_continues_1

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