Fire-ravaged pub The George in Chorley could re-open in time for Christmas

A classic town centre watering hole could reopen by Christmas if it gets the go-ahead on restoration works following a major fire.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 11th August 2017, 3:48 pm
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 12:49 pm
Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service at the scene of a fire at The George Pub, St Thomas's Road, Chorley.
Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service at the scene of a fire at The George Pub, St Thomas's Road, Chorley.

The George in Chorley was gutted after a blaze which saw flames bursting from its windows in January.

Now owner Tony Callaghan has applied to Chorley Council to restore both the inside and outside of the listed building.

Stephan Lavin of RAL Architects said: “It’s going to be turned back into a pub to it’s former state.

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“The client has several pubs and he’s looking to follow the aesthetic he’s got in all of them which is quite a traditional pub.

“He hopes to have it open before the end of the year.”

Chorley councillor Aaron Beaver, who represents Chorley North West, told the Guardian that he was looking forward to the pub reopening with its old-fashioned characteristics.

“It would be good to see it open again especially since the decline of pubs.

“It’s another place for young people to go to in Chorley.”

More than 40 firefighters tackled the fire when it took hold at the pub in Thomas Road at about 8.30am on Friday, January 27 after a Parklands school girl alerted the fire brigade.

Student Lois Rimmer, 16, was one of the first on the scene and immediately reported the pub blaze to fire services.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue said at the time that firefighters arrived to find the ground floor of the pub “well alight” and the other two floors “heavily smoke logged”.

Water jets were placed around the property to extinguish the blaze and stop it from spreading to neighbouring properties.

Police and fire services closed St Thomas Road, Crown Street, Union Street and the one-way system onto Market Street when the blaze broke out.

Once it was brought under control at about 9.30am firefighters spent the rest of the day, damping down the fire to ensure it did not re-ignite.

The property was badly damaged and at its height eight fire engines from across the North West attended the blaze.

At the time of the fire the building had been empty.

Nobody was injured during the blaze.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Richard Edney said that an investigation which followed the incident showed that the fire was accidental and was not deliberately started.

“It was caused by embers from the fire dropping beneath the floor and then igniting,” he said.

“It is extremely rare and there was nothing that the owner could have done unless he would have been aware of the issue.

“It’s almost a faulty design with these old style fires. No one could have seen it coming.”