Fire tears through Clayhall's former Doctor Johnson pub
PUBLISHED: 12:34 23 November 2018 | UPDATED: 12:47 23 November 2018
Four fire engines were called to a blaze at an historic Clayhall Pub under refurbishment. Around 25 firefighters were called to a fire at Longwood Gardens in Clayhall at around 8.30pm last night, November 22.
The blaze was brought under control at 9.09pm and half of the ground floor extension of the pub was damaged.
Hainault watch manager James Morley, who was at the scene, said: “A member of the public saw flames and smoke and immediately called 999.
“The pub was under refurbishment so thankfully it was empty at the time.
“We believe that building work earlier in the day had heated the timber frame of a roof extension, which later smouldered and ignited felt.”
The Co-op was given the greenlight to refurbish the pub, which is owned by a local developer, and turn it into a shop in November last year.
A spokesman for the Co-op said, at the time, it was delighted to be able to bring the site - which is on Historic England’s buildings at risk register – back to its former glory.
Roger Norwood, of Rushden Gardens, had been pleading with the council for years to make better use of the site, calling it an eyesore. Reacting to the fire, he told the Recorder: “I had seen smoke billowing up from the garden on several occasions.
“People have been burning bonfires.”
Fire crews from Hainault, Woodford, and Ilford fire stations attended the scene.
The Co-op has been approached for comment.