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'Months' before rebuild starts at Royal Oak near Marlow after fire

The landlady of a popular pub near Marlow has said it could be ‘months’ before a rebuild starts after it caught fire on Sunday evening.

Becky Salisbury, who has been in charge of the listed Royal Oak, in Frieth Road, Bovingdon Green, for 19 years, praised the ‘outpouring of love’ from the community following the blaze.

The award-winining pub was named Bucks Dining Pub of the Year 2019 in the Good Pub Guide.

Nine fire crews battled the fire which took hold on the first floor of the building shortly before 8pm. A faulty tumble dryer is thought to be the cause of the blaze.

Fire appliances and crews from High Wycombe, Beaconsfield, Henley, Maidenhead, Windsor, Wheatley and Woodstock attended.

Relief crews from Mar-low, Beaconsfield and High Wycombe were also drafted in.

One woman was given oxygen after suffering from the effects of breathing in smoke.

Becky said: “There are so many factors at play with regards to getting us to reopen. It is things like just to actually put it all together.

“It is a listed building, so [quantity surveyors] need to do their job, [we] need to do the clear out for builders to be appointed. It could take months before we can even start the rebuild. It is a big job.

“At the moment, there is no doubt the origin of the fire was the tumble dryer, but what caused [it] has not been established and it could potentially never be established.”

She added: “There has been a huge outpouring of love. It is just so heartwarming.

“We have been here for 19 years and you are not sure in what regard you are held, so it is a huge comfort.”

Marlow Fire Station reported on Facebook late on Sunday that the fire was under control.

The pub also updated concerned residents on the same platform, adding it was ‘absolutely gutted to see our beautiful pub in such bad shape’.

“It will be some time before we can open our doors again, but we will know more over the coming days,” it said via its post.

“Thank you so much for all the kind words and lovely messages we have received. It has really helped ease what has been a very difficult few hours.”

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