On Thursday 24 August Staffordshire Police confirmed two men had been arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life following the blaze earlier this month.
A 66-year-old-man from Dudley, West Midlands, and a 33-year-old-man from Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, remain in custody and are being questioned by investigating officers.
The pub, on Himley Road in the West Midlands, burnt down on Saturday 5 August with up to 30 firefighters extinguishing the inferno after receiving reports of smoke and flames.
Brick by brick
An investigation was launched by Staffordshire Police to determine the cause of the fire and to carry out inspections at the site.
The 18th century pub was previously owned by Marston’s and was one of 65 of the firm’s venues announced for sale in January this year.
Its well-publicised sale was completed shortly before the fire ripped through what was known as ‘Britain’s wonkiest pub’. The building was demolished by diggers shortly after the blaze.
The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) described the incident as a “tragedy” and demanded pubs that have been converted or demolished illegally must be rebuilt “brick by brick” after finding more than 30 sites could have suffered such fates in the past six months.
Police officers were also called to the site earlier this week after receiving reports a group of protesters were there.
In addition, a petition calling for a ‘proper inquiry’ into the burning down of the pub started on 6 August and had reached more than 97,000 signatures at the time of publishing.
The petition said: “An open public inquiry must be held into the burning and destruction of this remarkable building.
“The loss of this building is a major blow to the historical heritage of the Black Country – a building which had national and international renown.”
Staffordshire Police have urged anyone with any information which could help their investigation to call 101, quoting incident 761 if 5 August, or report anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.