Osborne View fire: Round up of what happened to historic pub near Fareham devastated by ferocious fire

A huge fire ripped through a historic hotel and restaurant near Fareham – leaving the scene devastated.

Fire crews from multiple stations were called to tackle the blaze Osborne View hotel in Hill Head Road. Emergency personnel Fareham, Gosport, Cosham, Portchester, Southsea, Eastleigh, Hightown, Beaulieu, Romsey and Ringwood worked to tackle the inferno throughout the day. A total of 10 fire engines and two water carriers were present at the scene, with a large number of emergency vehicles being at the scene. Residents were advised by police to keep their doors and windows closed due to billowing smoke circling the air. Police officers were also on site to provide support.

Smoke and flames were first seen at 2.30am this morning (February 22). No guests were staying in the hotel at the time, but staff have to be evacuated. The blaze started in the roof space of the three-storey hotel and restaurant. This afternoon at the scene, incident commander Jim Clarke said: “We are currently using six fire engines, the aerial ladder and jets to dampen down hotspots. We anticipate an emergency service presence for a large portion of the day and we’re liaising with local residents about safety precautions such as keeping doors and windows closed whilst the incident is ongoing.

"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.” Managing director of Hall & Woodhouse, Matt Kearsey, said every staff member at the hotel was safely evacuated and were left unharmed. “The wellbeing of all those affected is our primary concern and we will be providing support and reassurance to all those who require it,” he added.

By 4.45pm, the incident was scaled down with the majority of firefighters returning to their respective stations. Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue (HIWFRS) said: “One fire engine and an aerial ladder platform will remain on site. It is anticipated that at some point this evening we will see all crews leaving the site as we switch to a re-inspection plan to continue to monitor for any hotspots.”

The blaze left the community and former staff devastated. Liam Reeves, 28 – who grew up in Hill Head – worked at the hotel between the ages of 16 and 21. He said working there was right of passage for local people in the "tight-knit" Hill Head community. “I was shocked”, he told The News, “the first thing I was worried about was if everyone was okay - some of my ex-colleagues live in flats there.

"I was quite concerned because I have friends who live on the road. I've spoken to them all and they are fine - just a bit shaken up, obviously. It's lucky that there were no casualties. It's sad because they were very formative years of my life. Hopefully they will be able to reconstruct something there.” Other local residents were similarly distressed by the blaze.

Paul Tebbett, of Hill Head, said: "I have been coming to this pub for the last 30 years. I'm there every Friday night with my dogs, it's really sad news. Personally I would like to send my condolences to the staff past and present, it's been a great boozer for all of us. Rest in peace the Osborne View, and welcome to dead Hill Head. That's it now, there is nothing here. This was a major player in the area, they tried to save the Haven centre and were not very successful. This was the last man standing, the last queen standing I should say.”

Steve Beckett, 63, added: “We are going to miss it. We had The Haven, which shut down recently, so to lose a second local amenity is a bit of a tragedy really. I hope they manage to rebuild it as a pub.” Four adjacent to the pub also had to be evacuated.