Dog alerts owner to pub blaze

PUBLISHED: 17:37 06 May 2009 | UPDATED: 14:10 10 May 2010

Dog warns of kitchen fire.
Red Lion Inn, Great Sampford.
May 05, 2009.
Photograph by Michael Boyton.
Pic shows: Karen with Murphy outside the pub.
Names: Karen Ives (landlady); Murphy.

Dog warns of kitchen fire. Red Lion Inn, Great Sampford. May 05, 2009. Photograph by Michael Boyton. Pic shows: Karen with Murphy outside the pub. Names: Karen Ives (landlady); Murphy.

A DOG is being hailed as a hero after he alerted his owner to a fire at a Great Sampford pub. Drinkers had to evacuate the The Red Lion Inn after a blaze took hold in the kitchen, at about 8.30pm last Tuesday. Landlady Karen Ives, who runs the pub with he

A DOG is being hailed as a hero after he alerted his owner to a fire at a Great Sampford pub.

Drinkers had to evacuate the The Red Lion Inn after a blaze took hold in the kitchen, at about 8.30pm last Tuesday.

Landlady Karen Ives, who runs the pub with her husband Mark, said: "Our dog Murphy was in the bar with us when he started making a funny whining noise. I don't know if he could sense the fire, but he knew something was wrong.

"I went out the back and saw an orange glow coming from the kitchen. We had to evacuate the pub, which was quite busy because the Chelsea football match was on, and call the fire brigade."

Firefighters from Thaxted and Wethersfield used two thermal imaging cameras, one hose reel jet, and two sets of breathing apparatus to tackle the blaze. The fire was extinguished by 9.30pm.

Officer in charge Steve Morris said: "The kitchen was gutted by the smoke damage caused by the fire. We used a positive pressure ventilation fan to clear smoke from the building more quickly."

The pub was able to reopen to the public that evening once firefighters had made the building safe. It is believed the blaze started in the fryer.

"I don't know haw much it will cost to repair, but the kitchen has been completely gutted," said Mrs Ives. "Thankfully no one was hurt and it could have been much worse.

"We are really grateful to Murphy, and so are all the customers, for alerting us to the fire so quickly. He has been given lots of treats."

The pub had previously burnt down and was rebuilt in the 1980s, but this is the first time a fire has happened during the Ives' 10 years in charge.

The Red Lion is open for a drink but food will not be served for about two to three weeks while the kitchen is being repaired.

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