HORSHAM’S Commercial Hotel owner Gary Jelly hopes to re-open his bar on Thursday.
Mr Jelly is readying the premises for drinks, in time for Thursday’s weekly pool competition.
It comes just days after a fire started in the kitchen on Sunday night.
Mr Jelly said he had received many messages of support since the fire.
“It’s been awesome to see the people who want to help and people saying how good the pub has been,” he said.
“A many thanks to all the people who have supported myself over the past day.”
Police and the Country Fire Authority conducted an investigation on Monday morning, confirming the fire started in the kitchen and was not suspicious. Firefighters contained the incident to that area.
“We have to board up the unsecured areas and once that is done, which we are hoping for that to be completed Tuesday, all we need to do is get the okay from the council to open up,” he said.
“We are hoping to re-open on Thursday for our eight-ball competition and also to the public for drinks.
“We will be closed a while for meals due to the fire. We are hoping we can rebuild the kitchen in the future as soon as possible.”
Mr Jelly said he smelled burning on Sunday night before flames were seen from the top of the building.
“You go through the actions of trying to get everyone out,” he said.
“We smelled an electrical fire of some sort. When we smelled that, we went outside to see any fire but we couldn’t see anything.
“We continued to cook and rang an electrician, who unfortunately could not come out. Within 10 minutes, the building had caught alight.
“Tim, one of the chaps who helps me at the pub, did a great job getting everyone out. We moved a couple of cars from the carport.
“We couldn’t do much more. We tried to put it out with a fire extinguisher, but it was too big at that stage.
“Tim and myself live here. The report that’s come through looks as though upstairs is pretty good and most of the pub is okay, but we won’t be living there at the moment.”
Commercial Hotel employee Timothy Mudford said he was devastated.
“I’ve really enjoyed working here. I’m definitely devastated to see what has happened,” he said.
“I raised the alarm when I saw the glowing above the skylight. We got everyone out. We had a crack at putting out the fire, but it was pointless because it was inside the cavity.”
Mr Jelly has owned the Commercial Hotel for almost six years and said he had put a lot of work into the business.
“We put so much work and effort into it, it’s cruel to see something like this happen,” he said.