A faulty plug socket was believed to have sparked a massive blaze at a pub in Northampton on Saturday, an investigation has revealed, after high winds spread the flames onto nearby cardboard.
Fire investigators have ruled out arson as a possible cause of the fire at the Sixfields Tavern, which started at about 2.45pm and gutted the popular match-day pub.
Six pumps were at the building at the height of the fire, which was made worse due to the high winds.
Group manager for Northants Fire and Rescue Baz Fox told the Chronicle & Echo that the blaze was not started “deliberately” and has praised the actions of the venue’s managers for swiftly guiding punters to the exits.
Mr Fox said: “It is not thought to be suspicious or deliberate.
“The probable cause was an electrical fault on a plug socket. There was packaged cardboard within three metres of the building and in those wind conditions that developed the fire to spread very quickly.”
And in praising the management of the pub, owned by chain Hungry Horse, Mr Fox said: “The management should be commended for their swift eviction of the building because no one was injured, considering it would have likely been very busy only minutes before kick-off.
“While we want to praise the management we also want to issue general guidance to businesses to make sure your staff have had the general training and drills to deal with this sort of thing.
“A fire like this can start at any time and an electrical fault cannot be predicted.”
“Whether you are in you are at home in bed or you are in the workplace, you need to have an escape plan.”
Mr Fox said that, because pub managers managed to evacuate the pub, firefighters were also spared the risk of having to enter the burning building with breathing packs to locate people.
“Thankfully because of the action of the staff there were no people to rescue,” Mr Fox added.