A landlord who saw his pub go up in flames is appealing to the community’s tradespeople for help after he was hit by a second blow - he had failed to renew his insurance cover while incapacitated by a stroke a few months ago.
Andrew O’Shea, 54, and his wife Bianca, 40, have run the Old Ship Inn at Pointon for ten years until a fault in the tumble dryer started a fire at the High Street premises on Monday afternoon.
The couple had taken the afternoon off to go to Grantham leaving no-one at home except the family dog, Gwennie. Staff at the garage across the street first saw smoke coming from the roof and called the fire brigade.
Seven fire appliances were on the scene working into the evening to bring the fire under control. Their Border Collie dog was rescued by firefighters, found cowering in a corner. The flames were so intense firefighters told Mr O’Shea that the upstairs utility room at the centre of the blaze reached 1,000 degrees, melting metal and causing parts of the roof to collapse.
“When I looked at it this morning I cried my eyes out,” said Mr O’Shea.
Amazingly the downstairs of the pub is completely untouched, the smoke and flame focussing on burning upwards. There has been little water damage downstairs but they are relying on generators until the electrical wiring can be repaired. The family lived above the pub and so are currently camping out downstairs in the restaurant as they have lost all their possessions to the fire and smoke damage.
The biggest blow is that Mr O’Shea has discovered he was not covered by insurance due to an oversight earlier this year.
He said: “I had a stroke in the summer and was in Lincoln County Hospital and missed a payment. There was a lot going on and it was overlooked. When I rang them on Monday the company said they had informed me it was cancelled and the policy had lapsed. I had been with them for ten years.
“I am now looking for goodwill from the community to get this 200 year old pub back on its feet again as we have lost everything. If there are any plumbers or electricians and other tradespeople who can help me out it would be great as it has taken out our heating and hot water so we cannot trade as a pub or restaurant at the moment. We had established a good trade over the years.”
A local roofing contractor, Paul Greenslade has offered to help out and arranged for some roof trusses to be delivered in order for him to make the building water tight.
A team of six volunteers from the Billingborough fire brigade, which was first on the scene, have also offered to help out with the clean-up.
If any tradespeople can lend a hand, contact Mr O’Shea on his email: email@example.com