Page last updated at 16:03 GMT, Saturday, 19 September 2009 17:03 UK

Historic pub is gutted by blaze

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Philip Thomas, who is the director of the company which owns the Bush Inn in St Hilary, says he is "gutted" about the damage caused by the blaze.

The owner of an historic Vale of Glamorgan pub which has been badly damaged by fire has said he is "gutted" and has vowed to rebuild it.

Philip Thomas, who is the director of the company which owns the Bush Inn in St Hilary, near Cowbridge, said when he first saw the blaze it seemed minor.

Thirty firefighters were sent to tackle it after being called out at 1630 BST on Friday. They left 11 hours later.

Officers returned later on Saturday to ensure the blaze did not restart.

Mr Thomas said he first noticed the grade II listed pub's thatched roof was on fire when he drove past it on Friday afternoon.

Four regulars who were drinking outside had not noticed. Mr Thomas said the pub was evacuated and the fire service were called.

"We honestly believed we would be opening for business that evening," he said.

I feel like the building, really gutted
Philip Thomas, Bush Inn

"It looked like a minor fire. Unfortunately as soon as they removed the top of the thatch it had taken hold and had quite devastating consequences.

"They (the fire service) eventually left at about 3am so a considerable amount of water was put through the building.

"I feel like the building, really gutted."

Mr Thomas said the pub, parts of which date from the 17th Century, would be rebuilt so that it retained its character but that work would probably take more than a year.

Firefighters returned later on Saturday to re-inspect the thatched roof and check the fire had no chance of restarting.

There were no reports of any injuries and there was no indication of what caused the blaze, said South Wales Fire and Rescue Service.

Five fire engines and nine other specialists vehicles were sent to the scene.



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