A POPULAR pub near Hereford has been forced to temporarily close after a chimney fire.

Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service crews from Hereford and Fownhope battled the blaze at the Bunch of Carrots – a popular countryside pub three miles from the city.

An aerial ladder platform was among the fire engines at the scene in Hampton Bishop, but the pub vowed its closure would be short.

A spokesperson said the fire was fought using a nine-metre ladder, a roof ladder and two hosereels.

West Mercia police and West Midlands Ambulance Service were also in attendance while the pub was evacuated.

A spokesperson for the ambulance service said, along with the fire service, it was called at 2.20pm on Tuesday (April 19) to reports of a fire at the pub, on the B4224.

One paramedic officer was sent to the scene, but on arrival it was determined there were no patients.

Hereford Times Camera Club member Phil Butler was also at the scene, and he said his afternoon walk along the river for a quiet pint at the pub was cut short by the “small” chimney fire.

He said it was all under control when he got there, but the pub was temporarily closed.

A spokesperson from the Bunch of Carrots said the pub would reopen as usual today (Thursday, April 21) as it was a chimney fire so the damage was minimal.

The family-run pub is named after a rock formation in the nearby river Wye which, in its day, was said to resemble a bunch of carrots.

Local history writer Frank Kenward said it was a popular haunt for fisherman in times gone by, and the Wheatstone family ran the pub through most of the late 19th century.

It was later bought by Dick Marshall, who fell in love with Herefordshire when he moved to the county to work at the Royal Ordnance Factory in Rotherwas during the Second World War.

Now its menu incorporates British pub classics and its carvery seven days a week, offering a selection of meats all sourced from local Herefordshire suppliers, alongside a selection of real ales and fine wines.