Blaze drama at historic pub

By Jonathan BarnesFIREFIGHTERS tackled a blaze at one of the region's most historic pubs last night.They were called to The Brewery Tap, on Cliff Quay, Ipswich, soon after 8pm and found smoke billowing from the roof of the building.

By Jonathan Barnes

FIREFIGHTERS tackled a blaze at one of the region's most historic pubs last night.

They were called to The Brewery Tap, on Cliff Quay, Ipswich, soon after 8pm and found smoke billowing from the roof of the building.

The pub, which is next to the former Tolly Cobbold brewery, was evacuated and one person was taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.


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Five fire crews battled to contain the blaze to a small section of the building's attic, which contained items including bottled beer, pictures and posters.

Fire chiefs said there had been some smoke damage to the living quarters on the first floor, but the pub had escaped unscathed. The brewery building, which ceased producing Tolly Cobbold ales last year, was not damaged.

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Investigations will take place into the cause of the fire, which saw smoke filling the skies over the waterfront.

Drinkers and diners had been enjoying an evening at the pub, regarded as one of the best in Ipswich, when the alarm was raised.

Landlady Val Bint, who lives on site, was not at the pub when the flames took hold and returned to find the car park filled with five fire engines and an ambulance

“It's storage space up there and I don't know what's there, just bits and pieces I think. I don't know how this has happened,” she said.

Fire crews remained at the site for some time after the blaze was put out, checking for hot-spots, cutting away damaged sections and salvaging parts of the upper building.

Assistant Divisional Officer Karl Rolfe, of Suffolk Fire Service, said smoke had been coming out of the three-storey building when crews arrived.

“The amount of smoke made it difficult to see the extent of the fire. We sent in six breathing apparatus wearers and used three hose reels to tackle it,” he added.

“We located the fire is an attic room which measured about 10 metres by 10 metres. The fire damage is not too bad, although there is some smoke and water damage.

“Compared to how it looked when we arrived, the damage is not too serious. The ground and first floor are relatively unaffected.”

Brewing first began at the site in 1746 and the current Cliff Brewery was built in the late 19th Century.

The Brewery Tap opened in 1992 and the site became a major tourist attraction, with drinkers offered tours of the historic brewery.

Tolly Cobbold merged with Essex brewers Ridley's last year and production of the company's famous ales ceased at Cliff Brewery, ending more than 250 years of brewing in Ipswich.

n Firefighters put out a blaze aboard a 46,000-tonne ship at Felixstowe port last night.

The fire started in the APL Alexandra's generator room at about 6pm as the container ship was moored at the Trinity Terminal. Four crews attended the blaze, which was put out by about 6.30pm.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the smoke-logged generator room to investigate the cause of the problem.

jonathan.barnes@eadt.co.uk

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