An investigation is underway after fire ripped through a 17th century pub and hotel near Lancaster this week.
Ten fire crews tackled the blaze at The Stork Inn in Corricks Lane, Conder Green, following a call at 5.21am on Tuesday January 28.
Nearby properties were evacuated as the fire raged for several hours and plumes of thick black smoke surrounded the area.
The situation was brought under control by around 3.15pm, and no-one was injured as a result of the fire.
A sizeable portion of the pub and restaurant, which also has seven en-suite bedrooms, has been completely gutted, with major damage sustained to the roof and fabric of the building.
The pub’s owners issued a statement later that day saying The Stork would be closed until further notice.
They also thanked Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service for the hard work they had put in to bring the fire under control.
The stench of smoke was still thick in the air a day later, as fire investigators picked through the charred remains inside the building.
A traffic light system has been installed in Corricks Lane directly outside the pub, which has now been fenced off.
Staff at The Shop in Glasson Dock expressed sadness about what happened to the pub, which dates back to the 1660s.
Anne Wilkinson, who works there, said: “The Shop was very busy yesterday and everyone was talking about the fire. The local community are just really sad that this has happened to The Stork and how devastating it is.”
Owner Jane Sowden added: “We’re all sad about it really, it’s a tough time of year for pubs as it is.”
Lancaster City Coun David Whitworth, who represents Conder Green, said: “It came as a total shock.
“It’s a very popular place, the car park is always full.
“It’s changed hands a couple of times recently, but things seem to have been going well.
“It does serve as a hub for the local community and for visitors who come to the area, and I really do hope it can be saved. It’s tragic really. It’s an awful thing to have happened.”
Many people expressed sadness and support for the pub on social media, and the pub’s owners issued a statement on its Facebook page later on Tuesday.
It said: “As many of you have seen we have had a major fire at The Stork this morning.
“As a result we will be closed until further notice.
“No persons were involved with the fire and nobody has been injured.
“We would like to thank Lancashire Fire and Rescue for the hard work they have put in this morning.
“Thank you all for your support and we hope to be open again in the not to distant future.”
The cause of the fire is not yet known, however an investigation is underway.