‘Lucky’ after toilet fire at Rugby pub

Jamie and Anya Slater at The Griffin NNL-170313-095826001
Jamie and Anya Slater at The Griffin NNL-170313-095826001

A pub landlord said they were lucky a fire in the men’s toilets was not more serious.

Firefighters put out the fire at The Griffin pub on The Kingsway at around 9.40am on Saturday (May 27).

The Griffins gents suffered severe smoke damage in the fire NNL-170531-115854001

The Griffins gents suffered severe smoke damage in the fire NNL-170531-115854001

Landlord Jamie Slater said it was thought to be caused by an extractor fan overheating as the exterior vent was painted over.

“We’re just lucky that we’re all okay. It was just not a nice experience. Our bedroom is above the toilets so it could have been a lot worse,” he said.

Mr Slater said the fire alarm went off at around 8.30am but they could not figure out why, as they did not suspect there to be a fire in the toilets.

He tried resetting it multiple times but it was only when they smelt ‘burning rubber’ in the bedroom that they realised.

“At that point we panicked a bit, as we had fireworks on the premises, which were secure, for our leaving party so we put them outside in case the pub was gong to go up in flames,” he said.

“We rang the fire brigade and they were there in two minutes but we had to open the main door and the smoke was very strong and was sort of choking my wife and myself.

“We saw the smoke coming out of the gents washroom was like a big cloud of smoke.

“All that from an extractor fan I couldn’t believe that could happen as it was in the toilets.”

Two fire crews from Rugby used two breathing apparatus, a hose reel jet and 45mm covering jet to extinguish the fire.

An electrician came soon afterwards and found the vent had been painted over which he could not believe, Mr Salter said.

He also found the vent outside the ladies toilets had also been painted over, so they uncovered it to avoid a repeat of the fire in the gents.

“The toilets are quite bad, had it gone on for any longer it would have come through to our bedroom, it was quite severe,” Mr Salter said.

“We have got very good fire alarms, that’s what I will say, and it got stopped quite quickly.”

Mr Salter and his wife Anya are leaving the pub on Monday to take over The Courthouse pub – The Griffin will be shut for six to seven weeks for refurbishment.