A POPULAR village pub which was partially destroyed by a fire after being hit by lightning is set to reopen. 

The Oakwood Inn, in Holland-on-Sea, was struck by lightning in June this year, which caused a massive blaze, destroying the roof of the building, parts of it dating back to the 15th Century. 

Landlady Lauren Sutherland, who run the pub with her wife Lauren Finch, heard a “massive explosion” while she was cooking in the pub. 

Her first thought was saving her family from any potential danger, and she realised soon that she was unable to save the building. 

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:


“I wanted to go back in and use my fire extinguisher, but I knew it would do little,” she told the Gazette. 

“To just stand there and watch it burn was devastating - I can’t quite get my head around it.” 

Eight fire crews attended the fire and tried to tackle the blaze, including from the inside and with an aerial ladder platform. 

The incident left the family’s upstairs living area destroyed and caused extensive smoke damage to the pub. 

Additionally, the pub room was left with massive water damage. 

A family friend, Samantha Burge, launched an online fundraiser to help after the devastating incident.


Clacton and Frinton Gazette:


The GoFundMe page raised more than £5,900, way above the set target of £4,000, to help the family during their time of need. 

The fundraiser saw great support from the local community, which came together right after the incident to support the watering hole. 

The Grade II listed building has taken some time to be restored to its former glory but the owners have announced it will make a comeback by the end of January. 

They said: “Work is currently on target and we have now been given a handover date of January 8. This means the old girl should be back up and running between the middle and end of January.”