Popular local pub left in ruins after blaze, cause probed

2020-04-24 14:00
The charred ruins of the Pot and Barrel pub at the Rotunda Centre in Hilton.

The charred ruins of the Pot and Barrel pub at the Rotunda Centre in Hilton.

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Popular drinking spot the Pot and Barrel Pub at the Rotunda Centre was left a smouldering wreck after a fire broke out in the early hours of on Thursday morning.

Andrew Beach, who owns the Rotunda Farm Stall, said he was woken at 3 am to be told the “Rotunda was on fire”.

He rushed to the site in Old Main Road, arriving just minutes before firefighters from the uMngeni and Msunduzi municipalities arrived to deal with the blaze.

The farm stall is the only business currently operating at the centre under the lockdown regulations and Beach said they and other businesses had been lucky to escape without any damage.

“It’s not nice for anything to burn down, but at least it wasn’t the whole centre,” he added.

Beach also praised the fire teams, saying he had been impressed by their swift actions. “They really took charge and made sure that people were safe,” he added.

The Witness attempted to speak to the owner of the Pot and Barrel, John Hudson, but he said he was busy dealing with the SAPS who are investigating the cause of the blaze.

In a statement on Facebook, however, the pub said they awoke to the “devastating news” that a fire had destroyed the building and its contents.

“[We] feel very heartbroken at present, however, the community has flooded us with messages of sorrow, compassion and offers of help and we are so grateful for your support at this time,” the statement read.

“Fear not though because we [are] going to come back bigger and stronger and your former party place will be back in action as soon as possible.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  fire

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