Historic Pub a Blaze

The Royal Hotel is no more

Fire ravaged the heritage listed pub at around 7pm last night with around 300 onlookers watching in disbelief.

Fire crews from Mossman, Port Douglas, and Cairns attended the blaze, but there was little they could do to save the iconic building from a fiery fate.

'Ditch' Vladich from Queensland Fire and Rescue service was one of 11 firefighters on the scene which he knew would be spectacular well before arriving in Mossman.

"Coming along the highway, from about the tip turnoff, you could see a plume of smoke and we thought it was the mill. Then we looked and there was two plumes of smoke, one was the mill and one was the pub.

"When we arrived the Mossman crew had already arrived."

He praised the public for their behaviour and said that they assisted fire crews by not obstructing the scene.

"We turned up there must have been 300 people there watching what was going on with video cameras and cameras just going off everywhere.

"Everyone was cool. They were on the other side of the road doing the right thing."

Mr Vladich conveyed the enormity of the event for those involved in tackling the inferno.

"It was one of those things where, for those who attended that job, I don't think in our life time we'll have the experience of standing in front of a heritage listed pub and watch it burn to the ground.

"It was such a different feeling from an apartment or a house.

"All we could do was surround and drown."

Onlooker, Gary Hunt, was enjoying a dinner with family at nearby d's Steakhouse when his sister noticed

"My sister just went out to make a phone call and saw the fire. At that stage the fire was on the top floor.

"By the time we walked from d's to the hotel it was totally alight. It started on the top floor and spread to the bottom floor before the guys (fire crews) had a chance to get there.

"It happened so quickly, it's no reflection on them.

"It's so unbelievably rapid. Within a few minutes it had gone from being on the top floor to being completely engulfed."

Crews remained on the scene throughout the night to douse spot fires, and investigations into the cause of the fire have commenced.

Images by Sonia Lukin. Last image by Gary Hunt.

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Story by Mathew Churchill of news port