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Cause of Hungry Horse pub fire in Yeovil could remain a mystery

By Western Gazette - Yeovil  |  Posted: January 24, 2013

The Bell has been sealed off since the inferno on Sunday, January 6

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Fire service investigators say they may never know what started a huge blaze that destroyed a Yeovil pub.

The site of The Bell on Preston Road has been sealed off since an early-morning inferno on Sunday, January 6.

Last week the Western Gazette revealed that the building had been too unsafe to enter as experts tried to establish what started the fire.

This week a spokesman for Devon and Somerset Fire Service said the severity of the fire and the instability of the property meant it had been impossible to establish the cause.

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He said: “Damage caused by the fire was so severe that we weren’t able to determine what started it.

“The pub’s insurers will now carry out their own investigations and we will assist if we can.

“It is now in their hands.”

He said: “We are not ruling anything in or ruling anything out.”

A spokeswoman for the pub’s owners Hungry Horse, which is part of the Greene King brewery, said the firm was still waiting for information.

She said: “We are in the final stages of the investigation to find out the cause of the fire and we are waiting to receive the reports.

“Our main focus and priority now is to ensure the site remains safe and secure.”

The blaze at The Bell was described by fire service group manager Paul Cregan as the biggest in Yeovil for 12 years.

More than 16 fire engines from across Somerset were called to the site after flames ripped through the building in the early hours of the morning.

It took crews four hours to bring it under control, as police attended to assist with road closures.

Eye-witnesses described hearing explosions as the roof collapsed due to the intensity of the fire.

Nobody was in the building at the time.

Greene King previously said it was committed to rebuilding and reopening the pub.

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