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Pub fights back after fire gutted its kitchen

PUBLISHED: 15:50 18 September 2019 | UPDATED: 15:52 18 September 2019

Landlord Andy Thompson surveys the damage. PICTURE: RACHEL EDGE

Landlord Andy Thompson surveys the damage. PICTURE: RACHEL EDGE

RACHEL EDGE

A Woodbridge pub has thanked the community after an electrical fire gutted its kitchen, leaving it unable to serve food.

An electrical fire destroyed much of the kitchen at the Cherry Tree pub in Woodbridge. PICTURE: RACHEL EDGEAn electrical fire destroyed much of the kitchen at the Cherry Tree pub in Woodbridge. PICTURE: RACHEL EDGE

A fire broke out at the Cherry Tree pub in Cumberland Street in the town on September 3.

Landlord Andy Thompson, who lives on the site with his wife, was awoken by building's fire alarm.

"The alarm went off and we came down to see the kitchen was full of smoke," said Mr Thompson. "We got out and phoned the fire brigade."

The fire was soon put out with the cause found to be an electrical fault.

An electrical fire destroyed much of the kitchen at the Cherry Tree pub in Woodbridge. PICTURE: RACHEL EDGEAn electrical fire destroyed much of the kitchen at the Cherry Tree pub in Woodbridge. PICTURE: RACHEL EDGE

"There was enough damage that meant the kitchen has been out of action ever since," said Mr Thompson.

The pub was due to host a gin and beer festival in the next few weeks, which has since been cancelled as the pub's shed is now full of kitchen equipment.

In the meantime the pub has still been serving drinks and invited customers to bring their own food in.

"We have been trying to encourage people to get takeaways," said Mr Thompson.

Andy Thompson is the landlord of the Cherry Tree. PICTURE: RACHEL EDGEAndy Thompson is the landlord of the Cherry Tree. PICTURE: RACHEL EDGE

Pop-up food events will also be held while the kitchen is brought back into use.

"We have also had the fish and chip van, the Moving Plaice, in the car park on Saturday evening."

Other local food vendors including street food sellers Keo Street will also be providing offerings for pub goers who want something to eat while the kitchen is closed.

The response from those living in the town has been a real boost for staff at the pub.

"Lots of the locals have made a point of coming in and getting a drink," said Mr Thompson.

"It's been one of the nicest parts of it.

"The human side of the whole thing has been brilliant.

"We have had a couple of people get in touch and ask what they can do."

As well as support from locals, the pub was also listed in the Camra Good Beer Guide not long after the fire.

While the work begins to repair the fire damage, kitchen staff have been helping to complete other small jobs elsewhere in the pub.

It's hoped at this stage that the repairs will be complete in a few weeks time.

"We are hoping for that," said Mr Thompson. "But it might need a bit more time."

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