Express & Star

70 evacuated from Cannock's Merchant pub due to oven blaze

Around 70 people were evacuated from a Cannock pub during the busy lunch hour after a fire broke out in the oven.


Firefighters were called to the Merchant at Market Place at 1.25pm with two crews from Cannock Station arriving within three minutes.

By that time dozens of customers had already been evacuated from the pub.

The fire service confirmed the fire started in an oven due to a 'build-up of grease'. They removed the oven from the building to put out the flames with foam and ensure the pub kitchen was not flooded in the process.

A spokesman for Stonegate Pub Company, which runs the Merchant, praised the swift action of the firefighters, adding: "The oven where the fire started was dated and whilst clean had a hidden build up of grease.

"We immediately replaced the oven and invited an independent inspection which endorsed our top five star food hygiene rating.

"We reassure our customers of our continued commitment to food safety."

Russ Brown, watch manager from Cannock Station's Green Watch, said: "It was a small fire in a convection oven caused by a build-up of grease.

"The manager acted very quickly by raising the alarm and evacuating the pub.

"It was lunch time so it was pretty full. There were between 60 to 70 people inside.

"We used dry powder, one hose reel jet and two breathing apparatus to extinguish the fire.

"We removed the oven from the building to put out the flames to avoid flooding the kitchen which should allow them to get up an running fairly quickly.

"The rest of the pub was moderately smoke logged but we used positive pressure ventilation, which is basically a big fan, to push smoke out of the side door.

"Our message is for people to remain vigilant while cooking, check their smoke alarms and if they want to get one from us they can call 0800 0241 999."

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