A blaze burnt down the iconic 18th century Crooked House pub in Himley, the West Midlands, on Saturday night (5 August).
The pub was among the 65 sites pub company Marston’s announced for sale in January 2023. Its sale was well-publicised and completed two weeks ago.
Up to 30 firefighters extinguished the fire after receiving reports of smoke and flames from the venue on Himley Road at 9.58pm.
Crews from Kinver, Cannock, Chase Terrace and Wombourne were sent to the scene and began work to contain the fire with collages from the West Midlands Fire Service.
A Marston’s spokesperson said: “We are shocked and disappointed to learn about the fire which has caused so much damage to a landmark building which is so well-known in the area.”
Firefighters used a high-volume pump and a number of main jets to extinguish the fire from outside of the building.
Fire station manager Liam Hickey, who attended the scene, said: “Crews have worked diligently to safely extinguish the fire and make sure damage was minimised as much as possible.
“We know the significance that the building has within the local community and we are working alongside our colleagues in the police to investigate what happened.
“The building has since been assessed as unsafe and the cordon remains in the area to ensure the safety of the public whilst we continue to carry out our investigation.”
Since then, an investigation has been launched with Staffordshire Police to determine the cause of the fire and continue to carry out inspections at the site.
No one was believed to be inside the building and no one has been reported injured.
Detective inspector Richard Dancey said the incident had caused a great deal of speculation, but he reminded the public that the investigation was ongoing.
Due to the excess damage cause to the building’s structure, the cordon remains in place, and the police are asking people to avoid the area.