31 May 2012
An investigation has been launched to determine the cause of a fire which gutted a pub in County Durham. Fire crews were called to The Plainsman in Annfield Plain just after 3:30am yesterday morning (30thMay). Upon their arrival, firefighters discovered that the blaze was well alight, with flames shooting up to 20 feet into the air.
Despite the fire being brought under control by 5.30am, approximately half of the building was destroyed in the fire.
A Durham Police spokeswoman told the Northern Echo: "There were no injuries as the last people left the premises last night. "We'll be liaising with the fire investigators today to establish what caused it. It's too early to say at the moment".
All commercial properties in England and Wales should have a 'suitable and sufficient' fire risk assessment, under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. If the fire risk assessment is deemed to be carried out to an insufficient extent, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or a prison sentence of up to two years.