Penybont hotel back in business after large blaze

Reporter:

Owain Farrington

FIRE Fighters were faced with a large and quickly growing blaze at the Severn Arms Hotel, Penybont on Monday.

Crews from Llandrindod Wells, Rhayader, Builth Wells and Knighton were called to the scene at 3.30pm.

The hotel was quickly evacuated thanks to 18-year-old Cole Bedford who went room to room, making sure all guests, patrons, staff and his dog were safe.

Hotel owner George Bedford said: “The emergency services were unbelievable. If it hadn’t been for their total professionalism we would have lost it all. They got it under control so quickly, they were incredible.

“They were here within minutes of the call.”

Mr Bedford also paid tribute to his teenage son who kept a cool head.

“My boy got people out, and his dog of course. Made sure everyone was safe, it was serious credit to him,” he added.

Bouncing straight back from the tragedy, the doors to the Severn Arms are already open to the public.

Speaking on Wednesday, George said: “From 5pm today we’ll be open. It is only going to be a select service. We’ll be open definitely by Thursday orFriday.”

The fire is being investigated by the Fire Service though Mr Bedford noted that there were suspicions of a biomass boiler being the cause.

The rear of the building was well alight and crews used five hose reel and two main jets to tackle the fire through the evening.

Crews also used an aerial appliance, a water bowser, a drone and thermal imaging cameras.

Fire fighters left the scene shortly after 4am on Tuesday morning though returned to the scene later that day to check for hot spots and dampen down.

There were no injuries and everyone was accounted for.

The Police Service was also in attendance.

Area Manager at the Mid and West Wales Fires Service, Simon Jenkins said: “The early intervention of our crews and their firefighting technique prevented the fire from spreading into the wider accommodation area of the property.”

Group Manager Neil Evans, Head of Response Powys added: “I would like to commend the efforts of our crews, who worked tirelessly to prevent the fire from spreading further through the property. We are also grateful to their employers who allowed them to leave work to attend the incident.

“An incident of this kind highlights the important role that on-call firefighters conduct in protecting our communities. Within Powys, all our stations are crewed by on-call firefighters. These people are an essential part of the emergency services network, they come from all walks of life and most hold a career outside of the Fire Service, but they all share the enthusiasm to serve their communities as firefighters.”

See full story in the County Times

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