This is the dramatic moment when Britain’s most famous pub goes up in flames – with two people trapped inside!
As these pictures of the inferno show, the fire inside the Rovers Return quickly takes hold whilst stunned Coronation Street residents watch in horror.
Flames billow out of the windows as a desperate Stella Price screams for help upstairs and Sunita Alahan lies unconscious in the basement…
The fire takes hold on March 18th as the street residents gather in Nick’s Bistro for a ‘Full Monty’ charity strip show. Just as the boys are about the strip to the bare essentials Norris rushes into the Bistro to alert everyone to the fire.
But who is responsible for the blaze which will eventually claim two lives?
The action packed episodes took three weeks to film and involved stunt doubles, a special effects team and specialist fire crews.
By the end of the week the iconic Rovers Return is a burnt out shell leaving friends and neighbours to try and come to terms with the shocking events.
And in the coming weeks shock turns to anger as it becomes clear that the fire was arson with Sunita Alahan as the number one suspect!
For actress Shobna Gulati the Rovers fire also heralds the end of her time on Coronation Street. She said: “It’s an amazing send off. It feels great and I feel so pleased. The Rovers itself burning was hard to watch.
“When you watched the inside burning there was Betty’s picture in flames, along with all those memories.
“Sunita was a barmaid there too so she had an inside out relationship with the pub. I had a stunt lady there to do any scenes I didn’t want to do, but when it came to it I just thought this is the last time viewers are going to see me as Sunita, so you might as well see my face and not the back of the stunt double!
“When I finished filming the fire I cried. I thought how awful it must be to actually be in that kind of disaster. It must be horrific because the heat was horrendous. I could feel the burn.
“You could actually feel your skin burning. I had a bucket of cold water for me to cool down in because I was that hot; hot beyond belief.”
Michelle Collins who plays Stella Price also found filming the fire scenes very dramatic. She said: “Stella’s left the Bistro quite upset after the palava with Sunita and goes home. She just wants to relax and de-stress so she goes back to the Rovers for a nice bath.
“The lights go out first of all before she starts to see and smell smoke. At this point she doesn’t realise anyone else is in there and she thinks she’s the only one trapped indoors.
“Obviously she thinks everyone’s in the Bistro and that nobody will come to rescue her. At that point I think she genuinely believes she’s going to die.
“She tries to open the window, and it’s jammed and she can’t get down the stairs either.
“It was quite frightening. I didn’t think it would be as scary as it actually was!
“To be honest with you I tried not to think about it, which was a good idea. I spent my time talking to the special effects team instead.
“I did feel very protected by everyone there. There were lots of firemen there and lots of people safeguarding.
“And of course I had the rest of the cast and crew with me too! Everyone was really supportive and it really felt like a real fire.”
I can’t wait to see this drama! For now though, here’s a sneak peek at this week’s episodes…