Great Britain

40 firefighters battle major blaze as flames rip through South Coast pub

Fightfighters wearing breathing apparatus have stormed a historic pub in Rye, East Sussex after a fire broke out in the roof. 

The cause of the fire at award winning pub, the George, is not yet known. 

Footage from the scene shows thick smoke billowing out from the roof of the 18th century pub while fire fighters rush to tackle the blaze. 

Around 40 firefighters from Rye, Hastings, Broad Oak and Bexhill were called to the 18th century pub at around 4.40am.

It’s understood the fire started on the ground floor.

The High Street is closed to traffic.

DESTROYED: The George in Rye's roof is completely destroyed (Pic: Twitter: Anthony Kimber)

A spokesman for East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said: “As of 7.30 crews continue to deal with a fire in the roof of the George In Rye hotel, High Street Rye.

“Eight fire appliances, including the Command Control Unit and Aerial Ladder Platform, are in attendance.

“Firefighters are using breathing apparatus to tackle the fire in the four-floor building and we are advising people to avoid the area.”

Two fire engines have since left the scene as crews "cut away, dampen down and clear up".

DESTROYED: The cause of the fire is not known at this stage (Pic: Twitter)

Incident Commander Dan Channon said, "This was a challenging incident due to the complex nature of this old building in a confined part of the town.

"Crews had to work extremely hard in arduous conditions, using breathing apparatus, to bring the fire under control and prevent it from spreading to other properties,"

The cause of the fire is not known at this stage.

Guests have been evacuated from the George.

A member of staff at the hotel told Kent Live: "Our managers are in contact with the fire commander.

FIRE: Guests have been evacuated from the George (Pic: Twitter)

"At the moment they are not letting anyone in.

"There is no official statement yet.

"Everyone has been evacuated.

"At the moment we are residing in the Rye Lodge, a hotel one minute down the road."

Paul McCartney is a local of the historic town, and Johnny Depp has been spotted roaming the cobbled streets.

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