Fire at The Swan Inn pub, Milton Keynes Village

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FIREFIGHTERS will be working through the night in a bid to save the city’s most famous old pub from burning to the ground.

Fire broke out at 3.45pm this afternoon in the thatched roof of the 13th century Swan Inn at Milton Keynes Village.

The blaze was so serious that every firefighter in the city was called out.

With all 40 firefighters busy, retained volunteers from Woburn fire station have been called in to mange the rest of Milton Keynes.

Staff and public escaped unscathed from the pub, which is celebrating its busiest time of year with Christmas lunches and parties.

The cause of the fire is as yet unknown. It started in the thatch and within minutes spread to much of the first and some of the ground floor.

Extinguishing thatch fires is a laborious process as thatch is designed to repel water.

Firefighters have to physically remove the thatch, chunk by chunk, and extinguish it on the ground.

They have brought in a specialised BobCat vehicle – an agricultural-style bulldozer to help them with their task.

A spokesman for Bucks Fire & Rescue said: “Dealing with a thatch fire is very labour intensive. It’s going to be a long job but our firefighters will work all night if necessary.

“We have 40 firefighters at the scene and all are doing their very best to save this historic building.”

For a video of the fire, CLICK HERE