'Burns pub' destroyed in blaze
20 Apr 2012
Flames have consumed a pub that was built on the grounds Scottish poet Robert Burns's old school, where he went in 1775.
The Souter Johnnie's inn and restaurant in Kirkoswald, Ayrshire (which was named after a character of the Bard's poem Tam o'Shanter) is part of the House of Burns complex.
At lunchtime two waitresses noticed the blaze after putting coal and wood on the open fire. Rebecca Hayton, one of the waitresses, saw hot ash coming out of the chimney and this set fire to the thatched roof. The building eventually burnt to the ground. Over 30 firefighters were called to the incident. No-one was injured in the blaze.
Hayton told the Daily Record: "There were eight customers in and the head chef decided to evacuate the building. He tried to put it out with a hose and then fire engines arrived.
"Part of the roof caved in and that caused the fire to spread."
Copyright Press Association 2012