THE cause of the fire which caused extensive damage to the Cresswell Arms in Appleton-le-Street is believed to be 'accidential'.

A spokesperson for North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said the fire, which started at around 3.30pm yesterday, caused damage to the kitchen, bar and dining area, roof and upstairs of the building.

"There is also extensive smoke damage throughout the building. Crews worked hard to create fire breaks to prevent the fire spreading to other buildings.

"Everyone was out of the building on the arrival of crews and there were no injuries.

"Crews on the scene today removed dangerous loose roof tiles and the chimney pot as they had become unsafe due to the fire. They have now left the scene.

"The cause is still under investigation but at this time it is believed to be accidential."

Neighbours have described how fast the fire spread at the Cresswell Arms in Appleton-le-Street.

Mike Moffitt, who lives near the pub, said he had smelt burning around 4.30pm yesterday (Wednesday).

"I was working in my garage and thought something must be burning in there," he added.

"I went to look outside and saw smoke and flames coming out of the back corner of the pub."

Mike said shortly after six fire engines had arrived along with a platform ladder.

"The fire took hold of the building so quickly, it was scary how it spread so fast. It has soon spread through the whole building and into the roof.

"The tiles started popping off the roof and there was smoke pouring out of the chimney."

Extensive damage has been caused to the main building of the pub and roof area.

Mike said villagers had been shocked by the fire at the pub which had just reopened last month under the new managers Rory Queen, and his daughter Emily.

Mike said: "They had spent months refurbishing the property and invited people in the village to the opening night.

"Rory always kept in touch with what was going on and was a really good landlord.

"Business seemed to be taking off as well."

Mike said: "I really feel for them, they are such a nice family. This is such a sad thing to happen."

Crews from Malton, Pickering, Sherburn, Helmsley and the ALP from Scarborough responded to reports of a kitchen fire at 4.43pm yesterday.

People living nearby were advised to keep their doors and windows closed.

Further fire crews were requested to attend including water bowsers. 

Crews also used the aerial ladder platform and main jets to fight the fire.

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