Gallery: Pub gutted by inferno

PUBLISHED: 10:42 03 March 2008 | UPDATED: 21:02 26 October 2009

The Chieftain was gutted by fire

The Chieftain was gutted by fire

TODAY The Chieftain is a gutted shell – after it was destroyed by fire on Friday evening. A huge blaze swept through the derelict pub on Cole Green Lane in WGC.

Fire officers with sniffer dog search for clues

TODAY The Chieftain is a gutted shell - after it was destroyed by fire on Friday evening.

A huge blaze swept through the derelict pub on Cole Green Lane in WGC.

Emergency services were called to the scene shortly after 5pm.

The operation involved fire crews from WGC, Hatfield, Welwyn, Potters Bar, Stevenage, Hertford, Hitchin, St Albans and Wheathampstead.

Surrounding homes in Upperfield Road and Cole Green Lane were evacuated while firefighters tackled the flames.

Fire officers are still investigating the cause of the blaze.

The future of the building has been making headlines in recent months.

It has been boarded up since November after being closed down by brewery McMullen's.

It wants to knock down The Chieftain and replace it with a smaller pub and housing - including houses and flats.

However, three planning applications have all been refused due to over-development and being out of keeping with the character of the surrounding area.

McMullen's managing director Peter Furness-Smith told the WHT in November they had "no choice but to close the pub" as it was not commercially viable to keep it open.


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