Fire damages Woodlands pub in Alsager just two days after it shut
AN INVESTIGATION has been launched into the cause of a fire which gutted a pub – just two days after it closed down.
Fire crews were called to The Woodlands in Alsager at 2am yesterday, after neighbours were woken by a smoke alarm.
They initially believed people could be trapped, but firefighters who entered the building found nobody inside.
The blaze destroyed much of the pub's ground floor, while the first floor sustained smoke damage.
Panasonic Store Camera•20x Optical Zoom LEICA DC Lens from 24mm...View details
What Digital camera Gold award winning DMCTZ40
SAVE £20 off our store price ONLY with this voucher
Plus you can also claim a SD card or spare battery
Choice of colours, free parking behind store
Terms: Print this voucher and hand in at Panasonic Store Hanley to save £20 off our store price ONLY £269.90
Contact: 01782 342609
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
It is understood that The Woodlands closed down on Wednesday, but it is not known if there were any plans for it to reopen.
According to an estate agents' sign outside the pub, it was up for sale.
The police and fire services are now working together to determine the cause of the fire.
Crew manager Chris Holmes, from Crewe fire station, said: "We understand that the pub was vacated two or three days ago.
"Information we received from neighbours led us to believe that there could be someone still living in the building.
"But following a search of the building, all people were accounted for.
"Fire investigators have returned to the scene and will work with scenes of crime officers from the police to establish the cause of the fire."
Residents living near the pub said it had been struggling in recent years, and that it may have been in the process of changing management.
Beckie Hagan, aged 26, of Shady Grove, said: "I heard the smoke alarm going off at about 2am, and then I heard the window smashing because of the heat, so I called the fire brigade.
"I could see flames coming out of the front.
"I think the pub's been closed a couple of days. I've heard that it closed because it was changing hands, and all the staff were cleared out on Wednesday, but that's just a rumour.
"To be honest, I think the pub has been struggling for quite a while."
Sylvia Bees, aged 64, also of Shady Grove, said: "From what I saw the fire was only in the two rooms on the ground floor.
"I saw three fire engines and an ambulance parked outside, but I don't think anybody was inside the pub at the time."
Lynne Fidzewicz, aged 52, of Shady Grove, said: "I heard lots of bangs and crashes coming from inside the pub which was closed and empty."
A spokesman for Cheshire Police said: "A joint investigation by police and fire officers is being carried out to establish the circumstances which led to the fire.
"The investigation is still at an early stage.
"The pub was vacated two days ago. We will be speaking with the owners of the pub.
"We would like to hear from any witnesses who saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area at the time of the fire."
Anyone with information about the fire should contact Crewe CID on 101, quoting incident number 96 of September 7.