NEARLY 40 firefighters were called to tackle a fire at an historic pub in Stow.

Two crews from Stow, one from Cheltenham, Chipping Campden, Moreton, Northleach were called at 12.30pm to The Porch House, in Digbeth Street, to tackle the blaze which originated in the kitchen area.

A further two crews from Oxfordshire Fire & Rescue Service were also called along with the ariel ladder platform from Cheltenham.

Crews brought the fire under control in about one-and--half hours using breathing apparatus, and water jets and were working on the roof this afternoon on salvage works.

At its height a total of 35 firefighters were battling the flames which spread through the extractor system and damaged three bedrooms and the roof at the back as well as causing smoke damage.

Incident commander Steve Bateman said: "It looks like it got going very quickly. It was a really good stop by the crews to prevent it from taking hold of the whole roof.

"It could have been a lot worse, it was a fire which took hold very quickly and needed controlling due to the nature of the aging premises."

Everyone was evacuated and no one was injured.

The cause of the fire is still unknown.

Formally known as The Royalist in Digbeth Street, the pub was bought by Brakspear in July 2012, and re-opened for business as The Porch House after a major £750,000 refurbishment in September last year.

The Grade II listed building is thought to be among England’s oldest inns with parts of it dating back to 947AD.