DRINKERS had to be ferried from Winsford to Northwich after a town centre pub was closed following a fire.
The blaze engulfed one corner of Wetherspoons on Dene Drive, Winsford, in the early hours of Thursday.
Winsford police say they are not treating the incident as arson, and confirmed the alarm was raised before the fire had a chance to get ahold in the Queen's Arms, which was converted to a Wetherspoons in 2002.
The damage was concentrated around the front corner of the building, near to the supermarket Aldi.
The pub remained closed on Thursday as workmen surveyed the damage. Free buses were laid on by the pub chain to take drinkers to The Penny Black on Witton Street in Northwich.
It opened again on Friday in time for the weekend rush.
Winsford fire station sub-officer Chris Mannix said: 'We received a call at 3.51am and we attended the downstairs bar area. Four fire engines were present and the building was filled with smoke.'
Firefighters in breathing apparatus tackled the blaze which they believed was caused by a security lamp which had been left on. They believe fabric and umbrellas had been stacked in front of the light.
Wetherspoons area manager Ged Murphy described the fire as 'minor'.
One witness was alerted by the alarm bells. The man, who lives in flats above Winsford Cross Shopping Centre, said: 'The fire brigade were already on site and there were three police cars. The flames were coming out of the window and thick smoke was coming from the back of the pub. They put the fire out within about 30 minutes but the firefighters spent a lot of time in there.'
Sub-officer Mannix warned people of the danger of leaving lights on through the night. He said: 'The fire at Windsor Castle some years ago was caused by a lamp being left on, igniting curtains. People need to be careful and turn lights off.'
No value had yet been placed on the damage.