Landmark tourist attraction saved

A GOOD samaritan, a barking dog, multiple triple-zero callers and the highly trained members of the New Norfolk Fire Brigade prevented this morning’s Old Colony Inn fire from being much worse.

A suspected electrical fault ignited in the roof of the Montagu St building around 5am and was well alight when the fire brigade arrived shorly afterwards.

Owners James and Lydia Graham were woken by a passerby who saw the fire and raised the alarm. Around the same time, their neighbour’s dog sensed the danger and alerted its owner who then called triple zero. Mr Graham trained a fire hose on the fire until the arrival of the local brigade with multiple vehicles and about 15 firefighters.

Contrary to early media reports, the bed and breakfast accommodation section of the Inn was not occupied at the time of the fire and will now be closed for repairs following extensive damage to the roof.

Mr and Mrs Graham were unharmed and look forward to having their restaurant and tea garden open as soon as possible.

See the Mercury newspaper’s report and photo gallery here.

UPDATE: Damage to the structure and some contents was estimated between $350,000 and $400,000.

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