'The whole sky was red': Fire rips through Rocky pub

Archer Hotel fire.
Archer Hotel fire. Allan Reinikka ROK010118afire15

FOR years, every time Glen New went on holiday he wondered if his house would still be standing when he returned.

Glen's house and business sit alongside the abandoned Archer Hotel on Jellicoe St, Port Curtis.

Abandoned for several years, the pub quickly fell into disrepair.


Glen said he always knew if the wind was blowing in the right direction, his property could easily be engulfed if fire were to break out at the pub.

So when Glen's family realised the hotel was ablaze tonight, they fled the house, called emergency services and prayed the fire wouldn't spread.

Speaking to The Morning Bulletin as he watched firefighters contain the blaze in what remained of the destroyed building, Glen said he was feeling very lucky the blaze was contained to the pub.

"That's been a mess for a while, it's all been broken down," Glen said.

"Every time I used to go on a bit of a holiday, for a couple of days, I was worried about it going up.


"I just got out of the place (his house) and thought well if my place if going to burn, I just want my life."

Other residents at the scene who watched the dramatic fire unfold said they saw a red glow inside the pub which seemed to engulf the structure "in the blink of an eye".

The roof collapsed not long after Queensland Fire and Emergency Services crews arrived and got to work putting the fire out.


Archer Hotel fire.
Archer Hotel fire. Allan Reinikka ROK010118afire3

By about 9.15pm much of the outside was smouldering, but flames could still be seen inside the structure and sheets of iron were falling from what had been the second storey.

Ted Gillies, who lives about five minutes from the hotel, said he grabbed his camera and called Triple Zero when he heard a "massive" bang and saw a red glow in the sky.

"It was this huge ka-bang," he said.

"It was like the whole sky was on fire, the whole sky was red."

Just a few weeks ago, Ted walked through the derelict building and took some shots of the eerie space.

"By the time I got here the roof had caved in and there was fire a mile high," he said.

Topics:  archer hotel breaking editors picks fire rockhampton

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