Fire destroys century-old pub
A CENTURY old North Queensland pub has been destroyed by fire.
The Grand Hotel on Gray St in Hughenden was engulfed in a blaze, prompting an evacuation of nearby buildings.
Flinders Deputy Mayor Sean O'Neill said he was alerted to the fire after he noticed thick plumes of smoke rise above his house.
"I could bloody see smoke billowing up. The old brown was fully alight," Cr O'Neill said.
"It's burned to the ground. It was a pretty fierce fire.
"It was a very popular landmark (but) it's no more."
The Grand Hotel closed in 2004 and was listed in the Queensland Heritage Register in 2007.
According to the register, the hotel was constructed in 1910 and was a "good example of a two-storeyed, timber, corner hotel once typical of rural Queensland towns".
It was built during a time of growth, when Hughenden served as a service centre and railhead for surrounding pastoral properties and mining fields.
Cr O'Neill said it was a popular watering hole before its closure.
"It was a really popular old pub. It was really sad to see it happen."
He said firefighters were tested by the intensity of the blaze.
"I think the intensity would have been well and truly out of their control," he said.
"I don't think there was much our boys could do about it."
A Queensland Fire and Emergency Services spokeswoman said the pub was abandoned and there were no reports of anyone being injured in the fire.
She said two crews were able to bring the fire under control shortly before 10.30pm, containing it to the single building.
The QFES spokeswoman said the State Emergency Service orchestrated a small evacuation for the surrounding buildings.
She said firefighters were alerted to the blaze about 9.40pm.
Local teacher Tammy McClymont said the fire drew the Year 12 formal to a premature close.
She said the Hughenden State School formal was held at the Diggers Hall, a block and a half away from the Grand Hotel.
But Ms McClymont said she did not think the fire disrupted the after-party plans of the six graduates.
She said volunteer firefighters did "a fantastic job" containing the fire "considering how old the building was and the state it was in".
Ms McClymont did however expect the replica Muttabuttasaurus dinosaur to get damaged.
"It's a little bit melted," she said.
She said the Hughenden community was saddened by the loss of the hotel after the Flinders Shire Council bought it.