August 2 2014 Latest news:
By Amie Keeley
Friday, May 2, 2014
A landlady has thanked locals for rallying around after a fire destroyed her Clerkenwell pub.
Philomena Curtain, 59, who runs the White Lion in Central Street, said neighbours and regular punters had been an “amazing” support since the incident.
Firefighters were called in the early hours of April 7 after a passer-by saw flames coming from the windows.
Pub landlord David Bailey, 47, managed to escape with their dog, Molly. Ms Curtain and their two lodgers were away at the time.
She said: “We’ve had so much support from customers and passers-by. Those that we had a nodding acquaintance with in the area have made themselves known and expressed sympathy and offered support.
“Everyone has been amazing.”
She said firefighters and forensic officers who had examined the premises established that the fire was caused by an electrical fault in one of the bedrooms.
“The first two weeks I was in utter shock,” Ms Curtain said. “Friends and family had to give me a list of things to do. There are times when I can’t sleep but I’ve been staying positive.”
But there has been some good news. Ms Curtain said she had been visiting the pub everyday and looking through the rubble and, by a small miracle, firefighters managed to find some of her most treasured possessions.
“I asked the fire officers if they had seen a diamond ring but never expected to find it amongst all the mess,” she said.
The top floor of the pub has been completely destroyed by the flames while the downstairs bar has severe water damage and will have to have new carpets and soft furnishings.
Restoring the pub could take up to four months.