Airds' Riverside Inn owner unsure whether pub will be rebuilt

Gone: All that's left of the Riverside Inn. Picture: Chris Lane
Gone: All that's left of the Riverside Inn. Picture: Chris Lane

Airds’ Riverside Inn is now a pub with no beer, walls, roof or chairs.

In fact, all that remains of the inn is a concrete slab surrounded by temporary fencing.

It has been that way since the building was knocked down late last year after a fire ripped through the pub in early November.

The site is owned by the Department of Family and Community Services and was leased by the owners of the inn, the Lesday Group.

A FACS spokesman told the Advertiser last year that any decision to rebuild or not would rest with the pub’s owners.

Gone: All that's left of the Riverside Inn. Picture: Chris Lane

Gone: All that's left of the Riverside Inn. Picture: Chris Lane

Lesday Group’s Kent Walker said no decision had been made yet and discussions were ongoing with FACS.

Emergency services on the scene at the Riverside Inn. Picture: Cat Barnes

Emergency services on the scene at the Riverside Inn. Picture: Cat Barnes

However, he did provide an insight into how the fire may have started.

“We believe it was a disgruntled customer – a local,” he said.“They poured petrol or an accelerant on the kids’ play area but from what I gather, they didn’t intend on destroying the hotel.”

The Advertiser asked Campbelltown police for an update on the investigation and whether there were any suspects in mind.

As the investigation was still under way, those details were not revealed.

We believe it was a disgruntled customer. They poured petrol or an accelerant on the kids’ play area but from what I gather, they didn’t intend on destroying the hotel.

Kent Walker

“The matter continues to be a live investigation, but no charges have been laid at this stage,” crime manager Detective Inspector Greg Inger said.

The blaze occurred in the early hours of Wednesday, November 8. More than 50 firefighters and 24 trucks took about three and a half hours to extinguish the blaze.

Campbelltown Fire Station Commander Tim Boissery spoke to the Advertiser and described the ferocity of the blaze.

“The smoke was that thick that on the other side (the back) of the building, we couldn’t see each other when we were one metre away,” he said. “It was a pretty intense fire.”

The walls of the pub were also heavily vandalised with profanity.

This story Pub’s future still uncertain first appeared on Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser.