Chimney and wood burner being investigated at Ship Inn

Fire investigations are now focusing on the chimney and woodburner Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Fire investigations are now focusing on the chimney and woodburner Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Fire officers investigating the devastating blaze at the Ship Inn in Levington have confirmed that their investigations are now focusing on the pub’s chimney and wood burner.

Dozens of firefighters from Suffolk Fire and Rescue were called to the pub last Tuesday morning after a large fire broke out in the building’s thatched roof.

A total of 20 engines and 45 firefighters tackled the blaze in shifts, with officers staying on the scene for hours to tackle any remaining hotspots.

Investigations into the cause of the fire began last Wednesday morning, with officers still looking to establish the exact cause.

Dave Collins, area commander for Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The investigation is still ongoing.

“However, we can confirm that at present the focus of the investigation is on the chimney and wood burner.”

It isn’t the first time that the pub has been subjected to such damage. Similarly devastating fires in 2001 and in the late 1980s also caused huge damage at the pub.

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In those previous cases the pub was forced to close for as long as two years while the building was brought back into use with members of the local community supporting the site through the transitional phases.

It’s not yet clear how long the pub will take to rebuild in this case.

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A message on the Ship Inn’s website confirms that the establishment will “remain closed until further notice” and that updates would be provided on the pub’s future once received.

MORE: Community saddened by fire at The Ship Inn

It is understood that Ship Inn employees met with the site’s owners, Adnams, in Southwold last week to consider both their future and that of the pub.

It is not yet clear what the outcome of these meetings was.

Adnams have previously confirmed their intentions to reopen the Ship in due course.

Nick Attfield, director of Adnams properties, said: “We will get it open – it will take a little while but will reopen.”

Mr Attfield said that the difficulty would be in the careful work needed to ensure the building is properly preserved.

“The Ship is a Grade One listed building so we will have to take advice on what we can and cannot do.”

Temporary fencing was put up around the pub last week to prevent entry to its remains while investigation work continues.

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