Fire at popular pub causes 'major damage'

The Windmill Inn in Necton.

The Windmill Inn in Necton. - Credit: David Whitehair

A popular Norfolk pub suffered a fire early on Saturday which caused "major damage".

The incident at the Windmill Inn in Necton, near Swaffham, is the second damaging event to hit the pub in less than a year.

In August 2020, the inn had experienced a serious internal flood when a pipe burst, leaving its restaurant and pool room in a damaged state until November.

In a Facebook post on behalf of the pub, it said: “It is with great sadness that The Windmill has unfortunately had another strike of bad luck. This morning we woke to a fire in the pub kitchen. Unfortunately this has caused major damage, therefore completely unusable.

“It goes without saying that we will not be able to do any takeaways that are already booked, or future orders until further notice.

"We will try and contact as many as possible but please if you could spread the word we would [be] very grateful.

“We are truly sorry about this, and wish this wasn’t the case.”

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The post confirmed that the inn’s married proprietors, Mandy Whitehair and David ‘Scoob’ Whitehair, were both safe from harm. 

“On a positive note, both Mandy and Scooby are fine. Thank you so much to all of you for your continued support,” the Facebook post reads.

• URGENT MESSAGE• It is with great sadness that The Windmill has unfortunately had another strike of bad luck. This...

Posted by The Windmill Inn Necton on Saturday, 13 March 2021

The fire service was called out at 7.34am and fire engines from Swaffham, Dereham and Watton had begun arriving on the scene at Mill Street by 7.47am.

Crews wore breathing apparatus and used main jets and hose reel jets to extinguish the fire, while a thermal imaging camera was used to check for hot spots. 

The fire had been extinguished and the crew’s work was complete by 8.38am.

The pub’s Facebook post alerting their patrons to the sad news had received almost 200 comments of well-wishing support in just three hours.

The inn was last year awarded a certificate for ‘services to the community during lockdown’ by the West Norfolk Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), in recognition of their volunteering work in the pandemic - which included helping the elderly and vulnerable with their shopping. 

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