Everyone inside the Ingoldmells pub when a blaze ripped through it last night has been safely evacuated, the fire service confirmed this morning.
One person was treated by paramedics on the scene for smoke inhalation but there were no other reported injuries.
Lee Brown, who was in The Bell Inn on Anchor Lane when the first floor fire started shortly before 10pm, said: “Luckily it wasn’t that busy in the family room, as we were leaving smoke was coming through the air con.
“The whole upstairs area was in flames in minutes.”
Eight fire crews, a water carrier, hydraulic platform and as many as 60 firefighters attempted to tackle the raging flames through the evening and into the early hours of this morning.
The top floor and roof space were severely damaged by the fire, which has now been extinguished.
One crew from Horncastle remains on site to prevent its return and an investigation into the cause is reportedly underway.
Concerned staff, regulars and nearby residents have spoken of their shock and horror upon seeing the scene of devastation.
Beth McRae tweeted: “I didn’t expect this to happen on my night off, I’m glad everyone is safe and hopefully it will be repaired soon.”
While Della Shiel wrote: “This makes me upset.”
“Feel sorry for the owners,” sympathised Sarah Stainton.
Throughout the night crews from Skegness, Woodhall Spa, Leverton, Horncastle, Alford, Wainfleet, Spilsby and Mablethorpe all attended.