Coventry Telegraph

HUGE BLAZE AT COV PUB

MORE THAN 30 FIREFIGHTE­RS FROM SIX STATIONS TACKLE FIRE AT DERELICT BUILDING

- By ENDA MULLEN News Reporter enda.mullen@reachplc.com

MORE than 30 firefighte­rs from six fire stations battled a blaze at a derelict pub in Coventry.

The fire broke out at the Grapes, a familiar landmark in Fynford Road, Radford, at around 3pm.

West Midlands Fire Service has revealed that six appliances were in attendance, coming from all four Coventry fire stations, as well as fire stations in Solihull and Birmingham.

A spokesman for West Midlands Fire Service said: “This was a six pump fire in a derelict pub.

“At 3.06pm crews were called to reports of a pub fire located on Fynford Road, Radford, Coventry.

“The incident involved a fire on the ground and first floor.”

The spokesman added: “Crews from Coventry, Foleshill, Canley, Solihull, Sheldon and Binley attended, with a total of 34 firefighte­rs and several support officers. In addition, our hydraulic platform from Coventry has also attended.

“Crews will shortly be scaling down the incident while they continue to conduct searches of the building.

“Police and ambulance have also been in attendance.” A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “We were called by the fire service at 3.14pm to a fire at a derelict building in Fynford Road, Coventry.”

The spokesman added that one ambulance and a paramedic officer were at the scene. A spokesman for West Midlands Police said that officers were at the scene and “assisting with crowd control”.

The Grapes has been boarded-up for around three years and been the subject of a number of applicatio­ns to build apartments on the site.

There has been an active ‘Save the Grapes’ campaign to ensure the building was saved.

A member of the public who alerted the emergency services on Tuesday afternoon has spoken to us.

Jason Finn said: “I had just picked my son up from school and there was a distinct smell of burning plastic in the air as we walked out of the school grounds. As we approached the derelict pub you could see grey smoke emanating from the roof of the building, but suddenly large plumes of acrid black smoke flumed out of the chimney stacks and the upper floor smashed windows. It was at this point I called 999.

“The response was incredibly quick and the first two fire engines were there within two minutes, presumably from Radford Road station.”

He added: “Within moments more fire trucks arrived, I counted nine at one point, then at least three police cars and an ambulance arrived on the scene.

“The fire crews were quick and efficient in trying to gain entry to the boarded up premises and soon had two jets of water directed to the upper floor of the building.

“Police then moved the crowds back from the embankment and the truck with its large telescopic ladder found its place and began investigat­ions from an elevated position.

“It is a real shame what has happened to this pub over the years, and as much as I don’t want to see flats on the site, I think that structure is now unsafe, dangerous, and an eyesore.”

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