Chimney fire at Wells pub leads to evacuation of homes in freezing dark
A gas leak and fire in a Wells city centre pub saw more than 20 homes evacuated.
The Fountain Inn in St Thomas Street had a chimney fire last Wednesday at around 6.30pm, which meant that high levels of carbon monoxide forced fire crews to abandon efforts to make the pub safe.
Dozens of residents were left shivering on the roadside in sub-zero temperatures waiting for help to arrive.
Neighbour Nial Pearce said that at around 7pm firefighters returned to neighbours and told them to leave their homes.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"They said that if we smelled any smoke we should go outside, and when they came back they said there was a gas leak.
"They went in with breathing gear on, but their detectors showed there were high levels of carbon monoxide in the building and it was too dangerous for them to stay inside."
Residents were stood in the street for nearly two hours while the building was made safe.
Tor Street, St Thomas Street and The Liberty were closed and the gas board were called out.
A spokesman from The Fountain said: "The chimney at The Fountain was swept a couple of months ago and is checked regularly by staff.
"Most importantly, no one was hurt. All chimneys will be checked by a qualified chimney sweep before being lit again, by way or precaution."