Harwich fire: Blaze at Hanover Inn in Harwich sends smoke over town centre

Fire crews battled a fire that severely damaged a historic pub and cut power to parts of an Essex town.

Firefighters were called to the blaze at the Hanover Inn in Church Street in Harwich just before 8am and reported that it had spread to two neighbouring properties.

There were widespread reports of power cuts through the town as a result, and a cordon was set up around the centre of old Harwich.

Police, ambulance and council staff were also on site to deal with the incident.

By early afternoon Essex County Fire and Rescue Service said it had control of the fire and was dampening down hotspots at the scene.

A spokesman for Tendring District Council said the authority was providing support to the emergency services, and had set up a rest centre to provide shelter, food and drink to the people affected by the fire.

Drone images showed the flames emerging from the roof of the buildings and plumes of smoke high over the town centre, with firefighters on aerial platforms using water jets to control the fire.

About three hours after being called, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service said its crews were making "good progress to limit the spread and contain the fire". Twelve fire engines were sent to the scene.

Incident commander Craig McLellan said: “The affected properties have sadly seen extensive damage but our crews are working hard to minimise any further damage."

  • Watch drone footage of crews battling the fire, filmed by @djscreech

Harwich Town Sailing Club and Harwich Haven Authority opened the sailing club facilities to provide welfare, drinks and snacks for firefighters and other people affected by the fire.

The building dates to the late 18th century and is Grade II listed by Historic England.

Disruption was expected for several hours, and people living nearby were told to keep their doors and windows closed.

Crews made "good progress" early on as they battled the blaze, said the fire service. Credit: Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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