Only Wills, a pub on the English coast of the Severn Estuary, says it managed to get more than two dozen people out of a bunker in the village and out onto the streets of Gloucester on Friday afternoon.
“I had a couple of members of the pub management team put a fire truck in the car park,” Chris Rogers, publican of Only Wills, told the BBC.
“I went up to the bunker and got two fire engines to let people out,” he added.
Three fire engines were deployed by Gloucester City Council to assist the pub and police, Surrey Police said.
“Two fire engines turned up and then we had two rescue teams that rescued the 25 people out of the bunker,” Rogers said.
“They were spending the night in the bunker,” Rogers said.
“The pub were very helpful. This morning a local property sold out in half an hour – they’ve probably sold another two or three today, people were saying ‘when are you going to get my stuff out?’” he added.
The shelter was set up as part of a plan to clear the roads of snow and ice following a severe winter weather warning for western England, Scotland and Wales issued by the Met Office.
Two of the helicopters were not due to take off again until 6pm on Friday, the BBC reported.
“I couldn’t work to save everyone’s lives and they’ve been taken away safely,” said Gloucester City Council’s Brian Stone.
“The fire service was over-stretched, but this service is actually working in some tough conditions so our response was quick and effective.”