Firefighters and villagers battled to save pub
A village is cleaning up today after fire destroyed a historic pub.
At the height of the blaze on Saturday 65 firefighters fought to control the blaze in the Old Ship Inn in Cawsand, on the Cornish shores of Plymouth Sound.
The fire, which started at about 7.30pm on Saturday, lit up the night sky above the village and left the derelict pub and two holiday cottages wrecked.
Villagers tried to tackle the blaze with buckets of water but were beaten back by the heat.
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Torpoint fire station manager Derek Hunt, whose crew was the first emergency service on the scene, said: "The building was 100 per cent alight when we arrived.
"Flames were pouring out of the downstairs windows." The narrow streets of the village presented firefighters with a headache and threatened surrounding homes.
Fire crews tackled the blaze from the hillside above before going into the building. About a dozen people were evacuated.
Sgt Ryan Canning from Devon and Cornwall Police said that most of the nearby properties were empty holiday homes.
Police officers forced their way into five empty properties nearby to allow firefighters to check no one was trapped.
"It was a really dangerous situation because of the geography and the very old buildings, so it was quickly declared a major incident," he said.
Additional resources were brought in from South East Cornwall and Plymouth.
Sgt Canning said Cornwall Council, the British Red Cross and the police had put into action their emergency plan but the close-knit village had rallied around and taken care of those displaced.
It is thought that 13-year-old Toby Bell and his friend Noah Reece, who live nearby, were first to spot the blaze.
Toby said: "There was glass smashed in and you could hear the building groan."