A FIRE which destroyed an Oving pub was caused by electrics, firefighters confirmed today (July 24).
The West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service confirmed the fire at The Gribble Inn was started by electrics which spread to the thatched roof from the inside.
At the crack of dawn on Saturday (July 19), more than 100 firefighters converged from across the county to battle the blaze.
On Sunday morning, around 20 people gathered to clear the garden area around the pub and begin the long journey of getting their village pub back to normal.
As well as a pub, the Gribble also had a village shop, The Pantry, which served the community. This was in the part of the building that was damaged.
Here are just some of the testimonials and messages sent to the Observer about the Gribble Inn:
- “We’re devastated to learn of the fire at The Gribble. Even though we come from Elmer, we regarded The Gribble as our local. Good luck to you all and I hope you bounce back quickly.” John and Helen Peachey
- “Please would you, through the media of your paper, pass on my wife’s and my thanks to all who have helped our son Simon and his partner Nikki in their hour of need.
- “We live in south-west Ireland and were alerted by his brother, who had picked up the item on his BBC news app.
- “We were horrified to see the videos of the fire long before Simon was able to contact us. They have lost everything, but they are fighters and the phoenix will rise.” Ted and Mary Wood
- “I used to use the Gribble often when I lived in the area. It still is my favourite pub. Wonderful atmosphere, beer and food. Such a shock to hear about the fire. Hope it is repaired and open again soon.” John Burtenshaw
- “Such a shame. Great pub, atmosphere and food since Simon and Nikki have been there. Hope it will repaired and open again before not too long.” Lydia Burt
- “I am in Holland and a friend emailed me first thing this morning to tell me this sad news, I live in Oving and the pub is the hub of the village and brings people together.
- “I feel very sorry for Nikki and Simon and hope that the Gribble will be what it was very soon again. I am sure the whole village will support them.” Anne-Marie Dales
- “The emergency services have done a sterling job and I want to record the parish council’s gratitude to them, Southern Electric and the Red Cross for providing support as well.
I know I echo the sentiments of many people in sending Simon and Nikki and the Hague family, our very best wishes from the whole community. We, as a parish council, are prepared to assist in any way we can in the future.” Sjoerd Schuyleman, Oving Parish Council chairman
- “So very sad, my friends and I had a lovely evening in your skittle alley last night and were shocked to hear this dreadful news. Hope you can get up and running again soon.” Patricia Humphreys
- “Beautiful pub and beer garden with friendly staff members and delicious beers. My thoughts go out to the owners.” Mark O’Leary
- “Devastating news. My best friend held her wedding reception there and it is a favourite place of ours. Hope they can rebuild as quickly as possible. Glad all are safe.” Jane Rey
- “This is tragic but glad the proprietors are safe. How awful, been going there for donkey’s years and had many a gathering. My thoughts go out to the owners.” Kate Kelly
- “It’s a fantastic pub. Going in, what I like is that I can walk in here at any time and it feels like home.” John Watkins