Fire destroys historic tavern

Written By miftah nugraha on Rabu, 14 Agustus 2013 | 19.55

The historic Campania Tavern was destroyed by fire early this morning. Picture: CAROLYN MEREDITH

AN early morning fire has destroyed the historic Campania Tavern in the state's south.

Fire crews were called to the Coal River Valley tavern just after at 4.30am to find the building in the centre of town ablaze.

Campania fire brigade chief Robin Howlett said crews used two fire hydrants and six hoses to try to contain the blaze in the 1877 weatherboard building.

Residents from two houses across the road from the hotel were evacuated as strong winds fanned thick black smoke through the tiny rural town.

Despite the best efforts of four brigades the building was gutted.

Hobart CIB detectives and fire investigators are on the scene.

The tavern was the scene of an armed robbery on Saturday night.

Police are refusing to draw a link between the two events.

"We are not closing our mind to any possibilities," Acting Inspector Craig Joel said.

The tavern was originally a railway hotel, built by P.J. Nichols and opened in June 1877 with Thomas Workman as the first licensee.

Local resident Alex Green said the building had been one of the last timber railway hotels, which were sadly disappearing from the landscape around Tasmania.

"It was an important part of the local development following on from of the main line railway which opened in 1876," Mr Green said.

"There was no town at Campania before the railway, just a farm. They built the railway station and the people followed.

"The hotel is an important part of Tasmanian history which has sadly gone up in smoke."

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