Cause of Haven Bridge pub blaze 'undetermined' after inquiry

Haven Bridge pub fire Great Yarmouth six weeks on

The remains of the Haven Bridge Pub in Great Yarmouth almost six weeks after it was hit by a devastating blaze. - Credit: Oliv3r Drone Photography

Fire investigators have been unable to find the cause of a blaze that destroyed the roof of a landmark pub in Great Yarmouth.

The blaze broke out at the Haven Bridge pub on March 23 and saw a fleet of emergency vehicles and some 60 firefighters rush to the scene.

Following an investigation a spokesperson for Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service said the cause could not be found.

A hydraulic platform tackles the Haven Bridge pub fire

Firefighters tackle the blaze from a hydraulic platform at the former Haven Bridge pub in Great Yarmouth - Credit: Archant

A statement said: “We conducted an investigation alongside the police and specialists appointed by the insurance company as part of our investigation. "The cause of the fire remains undetermined.”

Meanwhile the Health and Safety Executive confirmed it had visited the scene and issued a notice stopping all work amid safety fears.

An HSE spokesperson said: “Responding to concerns received relating to the pub building, inspectors attended the site and issued a prohibition notice after not being satisfied with risk assessment documents.

"This action was taken for the safety of workers and members of the public.”

Mr Bennington has since taken over Haven Bridge in Great Yarmouth, where he says he is much happier

Martin Bennington said dealing with the aftermath of the blaze had been 'a nightmare'. - Credit: Archant

Leaseholder Martin Bennington said it was the latest in a series of obstacles and difficulties which meant any decisions on the building's future would have to wait.

The Haven pub Great Yarmouth six weeks after a blaze destroyed its roof.

The roof of the Haven Bridge pub was totally destroyed in the blaze on March 23. The landlord has said sorting the situation out is likely to be a protracted and complicated process. - Credit: Oliv3r Drone Photography

He said he faced a number of challenges in trying to move forward after it emerged the pub was underinsured and none of its contents were covered.

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He said not being able to carry on following the HSE notice made for a "Catch 22" situation where it was deemed "unsafe to make it safe."

With the insurers not yet able to settle, the whole operation was locked in a series of impasses.

New images of the Haven pub which was destroyed by fire in March 2022.

Supported by scaffolding a decision on whether to demolish or rebuild is still a way off for the former Haven Bridge pub in Great Yarmouth after a blaze on March 23. - Credit: Oliv3r Drone Photography

An investigation had identified where the fire likely started but had not been able to pinpoint a cause, Mr Bennington said, adding that CCTV in the area had not thrown up anything "untoward."

Mr Bennington, who lived on the top floor, said he had lost everything, tagging the whole situation "a nightmare".

New pictures taken in May 2022 of the Haven Bridge pub hit by fire on March 23 2022.

Whether the Haven Bridge pub can be rebuilt or is beyond repair following a fire in March has yet to be decided. - Credit: Oliv3r Drone Photography

He said it could be "months and months" until any decision was made about its future, adding: "It looks bad for the building."

He went on to say he had heard horror stories where a building had remained an eyesore "for years".

As it was until the insurance company accepted the claim it could not move forward, he added.