Pub boss thanks firefighters who saved Somers Town Coffee House “as if it was Buckingham Palace”
Despite ferocious blaze in roof, bar will re-open next week
27 June, 2018 — By Tom Foot
A PUB boss says he was stunned by brave firefighters who saved his business “as if it was Buckingham Palace”.
Tim Foster at Somers Town Coffee House said he feared the bar in Chalton Street, Euston, “was gone” after devastating footage of the blaze emerged on Friday night. But he was reassured when a firefighter came out of the building and told him: “We love this pub and we’re fucking going to save it.”
Despite the shocking images of the blaze, the pub – close to Euston Fire Station – is now due to reopen on July 5.
Mr Foster said: “The care was incredible. The crews were inside taking photos off the walls, taking out the TV, putting a tarpaulin over and pumping it all out with water hoovers. They put holes in the roof that let the fire go up rather than down. “All the commercial equipment has been saved. None of that has had to be replaced.”
He added: “I was stunned. They treated it like they were putting out a fire at Buckingham Palace.” He added: “There were five stations that came down and I can guarantee that when it gets to Christmas party time not a single fire officer will be putting their hand in their pockets. We’ve sent out thank-you letters as well.”
The pub’s other owner, who was abroad, learned about the fire when it was broadcast on Spanish TV as “breaking news”.
More than 350 people were evacuated from the pub by staff in just three minutes before firefighters arrived.
Abdul Jalil, 25, who lives above the pub, said his mother, Momtha Begum, had bravely attempted to douse the flames. “She got up on top of the sink, she had a bowl and some water and she was just throwing it out,” he said. “I feel like if my mum hadn’t done that, the flames would have come up to our window. “I saw a different side to my mum. I didn’t know she had that fight.”
A protective tin roof is going to be placed above the building in the next few days. London Fire Brigade has said it believes the cause of the fire was “unsafe disposal of smoking materials”, a discarded cigarette. It received 18 999-calls from the public, the first at 8.06pm, with the fire under control at 9.28pm. Ten fire engines and 72 firefighters and officers from Soho, Islington, Kentish Town, Shoreditch and Paddington helped put out the blaze. London Fire
Brigade station manger Steve Chesson said: “This incident shows how important it is to ensure your cigarette is completely out when you’ve finished smoking it. If it’s not, you risk causing a fire which could not only destroy property, but could also cost you your life.”