Owner vows to rebuild iconic pub after fire

Tari JeffersManjimup-Bridgetown Times
The Quinninup Tavern engulfed in flames about 4.30am on Saturday morning and included exploding gas cylinders and an intense heat enough to raze the 67-year-old business to the ground.
Camera IconThe Quinninup Tavern engulfed in flames about 4.30am on Saturday morning and included exploding gas cylinders and an intense heat enough to raze the 67-year-old business to the ground. Credit: Rae Starr

Quinninup Tavern owner Dale Atkins is determined to rebuild the 67-year-old iconic business after it was completely destroyed in a fire at the weekend.

The tavern, which was insured, was already engulfed in flames when the call went out to emergency services about 4.30am on Saturday.

The entire building was burnt to the ground, except the male urinal, but Ms Atkins said that would not stop her from rebuilding the tavern if possible.

“If I possibly can, I will rebuild so we can have a meeting place in town,” she said.

Ms Atkins has owned the Quinninup Tavern for eight years, has lived in the area for 40 years and used to run the business when it was still a workers club.

“From a historical aspect, it’s quite shattering because that’s the club’s history that’s gone and a lot can’t be replaced,” she said.

“There were historical photos, photos of people who have visited over the last 30 years, mill memorabilia and club records.”

She thanked the people of Quinninup for their support, including the firefighters.

“I’m devastated and shell-shocked by what’s happened but the firefighters did an amazing job going in there, where it was quite toxic and dangerous,” she said.

“I admire their tenacity.”

Quinninup resident Rae Starr, who lives behind the tavern, was woken by the sound of the fire, which she initially thought was rain or a kangaroo stuck under the house.

“The pub was already fully alight by the time we got there, it was quite scary,” she said.

“My partner called 000 and I went around and started knocking on the doors of our local firies.

“This is very sad for Dale and the community, the tavern is a staple in the region.”

Department of Fire and Emergency Services Lower South West region/country operations district officer Danny Mosconi said an investigation had been conducted and the cause of the fire was still undetermined.

“The firefighters from Manjimup Volunteer Fire and Rescue, Pemberton Volunteer Fire and Rescue and Quinninup Bushfire Service did a wonderful job considering when they arrived several gas cylinders were exploding which prevented them from getting too close to the building,” he said.

Manjimup shire president Paul Omodei said the news of the fire was a shock and he hoped Ms Atkins was able to rebuild.

“The Quinny has great history for the town, it’s really sad it’s gone,” he said.

“I’ve spoken with the CEO and the council and I feel we should bend over backwards to help with the clean-up, especially if she can rebuild.”

Anyone with copies of photos taken at the Quinninup Tavern can email Ms Atkins at dale.atkins@bigpond.com.

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