Southwest town without a pub after intense inferno
UPDATE: Morven is a town with no beer taps after an intense inferno reduced the last surviving pub to a pile of rubble yesterday morning.
Investigations are just beginning into what caused the Morven Hotel to catch fire about 2.30am, leaving the south-west Queensland town without a pub and a community without a gathering place.
Morven police Sergeant Gerry Thornton said the town was in shock at the loss, and credited the quick actions of the passers-by who stopped the blaze spreading to a nearby house.
"It was basically the only gathering place left for the town," he said.
Sgt Thornton said a man and a woman passing through town shortly before 2.30am noticed smoke coming from the structure and reported it to police.
He said an off-duty auxiliary firefighter from Morven and another man were first on scene, and their actions stopped the flames jumping to a house about 4m away.
But they couldn't save the pub, the last one in the town after the Royal Hotel was razed 15 years ago.
Fire investigations will continue in town today.
The Morven Hotel at Morven has been destroyed in the intense inferno which broke out about 2.30am Tuesday.
A Queensland Fire and Emergency Services spokesman said the pub on Albert St was "well involved" when the 000 call was made at 2.37am.
Initial information had suggested two people were feared trapped in the building but a search by QFES and first responders located them safe and well.
It took the six QFES crews until 3.20am to bring the blaze at the 20m x 30m structure under control and the fire was mostly extinguished by about 5am.
The QFES spokesman said crews remained on scene protecting neighbouring properties from fire exposures and would continue dampening down and securing the area.
Fire investigators are believed to be travelling to the scene in an effort to determine the cause.