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Dirty Habit Fire: Flames rip through 11th-century Kent pub

Dirty Habit Fire: Flames rip through 11th-century Kent pub

A massive fire has destroyed one of the oldest pubs in Kent, forcing members of the community to evacuate their homes.

Flames ripped through the 11th century Dirty Habit pub in Hollingbourne overnight and crews are still working on the scene this morning.

Photos show the much-loved pub, once used as an inn by monks on their way to Canterbury, now in ruins after the inferno swept through the building.

No injuries were reported, but the roads around the pub will remain closed for several hours while the police investigate. It is not clear at this time what caused the fire.

Meanwhile, residents previously excited about Dirty Habit’s upcoming winter menu, unveiled just hours before the fire, said “so sad to see such a piece of history destroyed.”

Flames ripped through the 11th century Dirty Habit pub in Hollingbourne at night, seemingly destroying the historic eatery

Photos show beloved pub, once used as an inn by monks on their way to Canterbury, now in ruins after the inferno swept through the building

Photos show beloved pub, once used as an inn by monks on their way to Canterbury, now in ruins after the inferno swept through the building

Firefighters worked through the night after a fire broke out at The Dirty Habit pub on Upper Street around 8:23 p.m. on Sunday.

Residents of nearby properties were ordered to evacuate. It is not clear whether adjacent buildings were damaged by the fire.

At the height of the fire, 12 firefighters were at work. Three fire trucks and a cherry picker were at the scene this morning.

Officials have closed nearby roads while working on the spot. Locals are asked to avoid Upper Street, Pilgrims Way and Hollingbourne Hill. The fire service expects the road closures to last for several hours.

Videos by passerby Luke Stroud captured the progress of the kiln as giant plumes of smoke billowed from the roof and windows of the historic building at night.

Bystanders watched as the flames began to burn on the inside of the windows as the fire grew stronger, despite firefighters trying to extinguish the blaze.

Firefighting foam completely covers the black Tudor beams of the adjacent building, lit by emergency lighting. Photos taken this morning showed the windows of the pub blown out and the roof blown off.

Firefighters worked through the night after a fire broke out at The Dirty Habit pub on Upper Street at 8.23pm on Sunday.

Firefighters worked through the night after a fire broke out at The Dirty Habit pub on Upper Street at 8.23pm on Sunday.

Residents of nearby properties were ordered to evacuate. It's unclear if neighboring properties were damaged by the fire, but officials note no one was injured

Residents of nearby properties were ordered to evacuate. It’s unclear if neighboring properties were damaged by the fire, but officials note no one was injured

At the height of the fire, 12 firefighters were at work. Six fire trucks, an elevation vehicle, bulk water carrier and other support teams remain on site this morning. Pictured: Aerial view of the pub as seen on Monday morning

At the height of the fire, 12 firefighters were at work. Six fire trucks, an elevation vehicle, bulk water carrier and other support teams remain on site this morning. Pictured: Aerial view of the pub as seen on Monday morning

The Dirty Habit dates back to the 11th century and parts of the historic building are nearly 1,000 years old. The pub is pictured before and after the fire

Thankfully no one was injured, but heartbroken customers took to Facebook to share their shock.

The Dirty Habit dates back to the 11th century, with parts of the historic building dating back nearly 1,000 years, according to the pub’s website. The Dirty Habit in Hollingbourne is now run by the Elite pub chain.

The pub was seemingly run down by locals who now say they are devastated that the historic eatery is gone.

Lisa Margaret Birch wrote: ‘That’s the pub we went to the night Graham Birch proposed to me! So sad to see such a piece of history destroyed!’

Gillian Smith added: ‘Always been one of my favorite places, so sad to read this.’

Jackie Hadaway said: ‘It has been badly damaged and the burning personnel are still safe. No one was injured. Such a shame, because it’s a historic building.’

Locals say devastated by the loss of the pu

Locals say devastated by the loss of the pu

Claire, on Twitter, added: ‘So sad. This is an 11th century pub in my home town. Right on the Pilgrim’s Way and of great historical significance… Another fantastic company in trouble.’

Another social media user Mike lamented that the Dirty Habit was one of his “favorite restaurants” and that he is “particularly sad because it dates back to the 11th century and was used by Canterbury Pilgrims.”

“Hopefully it will be rebuilt,” he insisted.

Twitter user Henry added: “Learning the dirty habit that burned down last night ruined my day.”

Another said it was a ‘pity’ that the pub was gone.

The historic pub was busy with Christmas preparations and the fire broke out the same day it unveiled its new winter menu.

That same night, just over 40 miles away, firefighters fought a massive blaze at Chilton Tavern, Ramsgate, after a loud explosion was reported. Authorities have not indicated a connection between the two incidents.

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