A PUB was evacuated after a blaze broke out in the living quarters above.

Regulars had to flee the Coach and Horses in Manchester Road, Linthwaite, on Wednesday night.

Landlord Dave Whitham told how there were four regulars still in the pub at drinking-up time when there was a loud bang from upstairs.

“At first we thought it was someone kicking the back door but it turned out it was coming from the immersion heater in the bathroom,” he said.

“The noise we heard must have been the electrics exploding. Then the smoke alarm at the bottom of the stairs went off.

“We phoned the fire brigade and got everybody out.”

Towels and other items in the airing cupboard caught fire and started a blaze.

Fire crews from Huddersfield and Slaithwaite were called out at 11.19pm and four firefighters in breathing apparatus searched upstairs rooms.

The bathroom was gutted and there was smoke damage to other rooms.

Firefighters were at the scene for about two hours.

Mr Whitham, 60, who has run the pub for 15 years, spent Wednesday night away from the premises.

He returned yesterday to have the electrics checked and opened the pub as usual.

“It’s a bit of a mess,” said Mr Whitham. “And we’d only just redecorated upstairs as well.”

Mr Whitham, who lives in the pub alone, was due to meet insurance assessors over the damage.