At 4 pm on Wednesday afternoon fire broke out at the Jolly Boatman public house just north of Kidlington on the Banbury Road. The fire was spotted by the crew of narrowboat SANBEC who had just moored up for the night. Dianne Kavanagh, seated on the rear deck, spotted smoke coming from behind the fence at the back of the patio. She called to her husband Brendon and by the time he had put his shoes on to come outside the fence was properly ablaze. Brendon, who works for the Canal and River Trust, sprang into action with one of the fire extinguishers from his boat and doused the flames. By the time the fire crews arrived the drama had been contained.
The fire may have been caused by sparks from an incinerator which was in use at the time. The senior fire officer present advised the staff not to burn waste paper and cardboard in the yard. Damage was limited to a small corner of the patio fence and roof by the prompt action of the Kavanaghs who were rewarded with an evening meal.
The owner Andy Cannon was not available on site for comment.