Osborne View fire: Hall & Woodhouse "committed" to rebuilding Hill Head pub as venue shuts indefinitely

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The owners of a Hampshire pub destroyed in a huge fire have said they are "totally committed" to rebuilding the historic venue.
The Osborne View fire as it happened.The Osborne View fire as it happened.
The Osborne View fire as it happened.

As previously reported, The Osborne View pub in Hill Head was struck by a huge fire in the early hours of Thursday, February 22, with firefighters from 10 Hampshire stations rushing to tackle the inferno. Pub staff were at the site today while construction workers operated heavy machinery. Much of the building has been left in ruins by the flames and smoke. Minor smoke damage was also caused at the adjacent Breezes Cafe Now, the managing director of Hall & Woodhouse - the brewery which owns the pub - has shared an update about the future of The Osborne View.

Matt Kearsey, Hall & Woodhouse managing director, said: “Thanks to the continuing efforts of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service the site of The Osborne View has now been made safe and we have been able to take the building back from the emergency services, for which I am immensely grateful.

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“The ferocity of the fire has caused major inconvenience and concern to the local community, in some cases to a significant degree, and so I am truly thankful for the understanding of those who have been affected. Their support at such a challenging time is very much appreciated by all at Hall & Woodhouse.

“Our immediate priority has been to ensure the personal wellbeing of affected team members, five of which were resident on site at the time of the fire. These team members have been relocated to a hotel while we arrange alternative longer-term accommodation, and we have also supported them in purchasing necessities to replace those lost in the fire. We are now finalising plans to provide longer-term practical and emotional support and will be liaising closely with all those affected in the coming days as we progress our assistance.

“It is clear that due to the extent of the fire, the original building has been sadly lost. I know that many people in the locality will also be feeling the impact of the damage to this much-loved neighbourhood asset. We will be closed for the foreseeable future, but we remain totally committed to rebuilding The Osborne View as a pub and to our part in the local community in the long term. We will update on plans when we are able.”

Crews from Fareham, Gosport, Cosham, Portchester, Southsea, Eastleigh, Hightown, Beaulieu, Romsey and Ringwood were all deployed to tackle the fire, with the incident being scaled down at 4.45pm. As previously reported, incident commander Jim Clarke said: "There is sadly a significant amount of damage to the building. Our empathy is with the owners, staff and local residents as we know The Osborne View is an asset to the community.”

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