'We've lost everything we worked for': Family left devastated as fire destroys pub

  • Video report by ITV News Meridian's Malcolm Shaw.

An appeal has been launched to help a family whose pub in Kent has been destroyed by fire.  The blaze at the Green Man in Hodsoll Street near Wrotham broke out early yesterday morning.  

Fire crews had to pump water from nearby swimming pools to bring it under control.  The cause is being investigated, but it's thought the fire may have been started by lightening

The Green Man has stood in the tiny hamlet of Hodsoll Street for more than 130 years.  But today it's a blackened shell following a ferocious fire. 

It broke out in the early hours of yesterday morning.  The landlord was away for the night but was called by here neighbours and watched helpless as the blaze swept through the building.  

  • Alex Brooks, Landlord

At the height of the blaze, there were five fire engines and other appliances here.  Crews had to pump water from swimming pools in nearby properties, and also access supplies from a local care home.  It took two hours to bring the flames under control.

Fortunately, no-one was injured but many family possessions have been lost.  An appeal has been set up to help Alex Brooks and his family.  Thousands of pounds already raised.

  • Lawrence Pater, Kent Fire and Rescue

It's not yet known how the fire started but one theory is it may have been a lightning strike.  CCTV is being checked for clues. 

Meanwhile, the landlord says he's determined the Green Man will be rebuilt and reopened.