Pub owner describes fire damage after Welwyn blaze

THE owner of a Welwyn pub and restaurant that went up in flames has described the damage to the historic coaching inn. More than 50 firefighters tackled a huge blaze at The Wellington, in High Street, in the early hours of Tuesday. Pub owner Chris Gerard

THE owner of a Welwyn pub and restaurant that went up in flames has described the damage to the historic coaching inn.

More than 50 firefighters tackled a huge blaze at The Wellington, in High Street, in the early hours of Tuesday.

Pub owner Chris Gerard said: "If we had not had fire alarms we could have been looking at some deaths."

Of the damage to the pub, in which the roof caved in, Mr Gerard said: "We have lost the roof and some of the first floor is clearly damaged.

"It looks like the restaurant, kitchen and cellar may be ok."

Scaffolding has now gone up around the building to make the 14th century pub safe.

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Speaking to the Welwyn & Hatfield Times, Mr Gerard added: "It's tragic we won't be open for the Welwyn Festival as it's our busiest time, but it will be lovely again soon."

The coaching inn is steeped in history, and famous writer and diarist Samuel Pepys is said to have stayed there sometime during the 1600s.

An electrical fault is the likely cause of the fire.