A POPULAR rural pub and restaurant which was undergoing refurbishment has been forced to close until further notice after a 'severe' fire.

Six fire crews were called to the The Yew Tree, Dill Hall Brow, Anglezarke, early on Sunday morning.

A statement from the restaurant, said: "It is with the deepest sadness and regret that we will be closed until further notice.

"A fire severely damaged the internals of the building.

"Investigations are ongoing as to the cause.

"Apologies to all concerned and thanks to Lancashire Fire & Rescue and also to the police for their swift actions.

A lancashire fire spokesman, said: "Two fire engines from Lancashire, four from Greater Manchester and an aerial ladder platform attended a fire in the Yew Tree. "Initial reports suggested that someone was still inside the property and four teams of firefighters wearing breathing apparatus conducted a fingertip search however a message was soon sent that no one was missing.

Firefighters used hoses, jets and a ventilation unit to extinguish the fire.

"There were no reported injuries and a fire investigation has now begun."