A fire destroyed the roof space of derelict pub, The Highwayman, in Yateley on Saturday afternoon (October 17).

Firefighters were called to the scene of the blaze at around 2.30pm, with fire engines sent from Yateley , Hartley Wintney, Camberley and an aerial ladder from Whitley Wood.

A Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: “The fire is in the roof space and two hose reel jets and two main jets were used.

“In total four pumping appliances and one aerial ladder platform were called.”

Firefighters were still at the scene at 5pm.

Eyewitnesses to the blaze, Matthew and Josie Hewitt, saw the blaze from their house which is nearby to the derelict pub.

Matthew said: "We live nearby to The Highwayman, my mum came in and said the Highwayman is on fire and I saw the smoke above the houses so I grabbed my camera and ran down there to have a look.

"There was just loads of smoke, three fire engines and crowds of people looking, loads of flames and smoke.

"It was a big change, nothing really happens here so it's a bit of a surprise to see so many emergency services down there.

"The fire men had come up our road and used a fire hydrant to take water down to the fire engines. You could smell the smoke when you left the house.

"It was like nothing you can imagine happening, it's quite sad, it's a really nice pub and it was within walking distance.

"It is a shame it has gone now, we use to go there with the family for Sunday lunch."

Matthew's sister, Josie, explained how The Highwayman pub had been closed since August so had fencing around it which firefighters had to cut through.

Josie said: "They [firefighters] swung into action straight away and cut through the fence so they could get in.

"It's a shame to see the roof collapsing, I have lived here all my life, it has changed hands over the years, until it eventually became the Highwayman and to see it in a state of disrepair, it's not very good."

The site of the pub was due to be redeveloped into seven homes by developers Clovercourt, after the former owner decided to sell up.

The pub was also served a closure notice on August 1 and had its premises license revoked following a 'catalogue of incidents', including noise complaints.

Video courtesy of Matthew Hewitt.