Harwich fire: Investigation begins into 'devastating' blaze at historic Hanover Inn

Credit: Essex County Fire and Rescue Service
The Hanover Inn after fire ripped through the historic building in the centre of Old Harwich. Credit: Essex Fire and Rescue

The investigation has begun into what caused a huge fire that ripped through a historic pub in an Essex seaside town, destroying two buildings and leaving families homeless.

Firefighters were at the scene at the Hanover Inn in Church Street overnight as they continued work to put out several hotspots.

The blaze started on Tuesday just before 8am when emergency services were called to reports of a fire in the centre of the old town.

It spread to neighbouring properties and there were widespread reports of power cuts through the old part of the town, with a cordon set up.

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

Essex Fire and Rescue remained at the scene in Church Street overnight, where it said two buildings had been destroyed but no one was injured.

A crew from Weeley and an aerial ladder platform from Colchester were still there on Wednesday "damping down several hotspots" and an investigation to establish the cause of the fire was under way, said the service.

Incident commander Craig McLellan said: "Crews have worked incredibly hard in difficult conditions. While two buildings have sadly been destroyed, we're pleased to report that nobody was injured as a result of the fire.

"We're doing everything we can to minimise the impact on the local area but due to the nature of the incident and some of the risks that we've identified the road will remain closed for now."

Throughout the day on Tuesday, Tendring District Council provided support to the emergency services, and set up a rest centre to provide shelter, food and drink to the people affected by the fire.

Chief executive Ian Davidson said the authority was continuing to support those affected by the "complex fire" in the heart of the old town.

He said: "Our housing team is also working with those families sadly left homeless by the fire, and we will be supporting them into temporary accommodation should they require it."

The council later said that the residents affected by the fire had found places to stay and its emergency shelter provision was no longer needed.

Mr Davidson also thanked Essex Fire and Rescue for its hard work and the public for their patience and support.

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