Police arrest third man over suspected arson at Crooked House pub after fire guts beloved boozer

7 September 2023, 13:04 | Updated: 7 September 2023, 15:17

A third man has been arrested over the Crooked House fire
A third man has been arrested over the Crooked House fire. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

A third man has been arrested over the suspected arson at the Crooked House pub.

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Staffordshire Police have arrested a 51-year-old man from Buckingham.

The boozer, nicknamed "Britain's wonkiest pub" for its slanted appearance caused by subsidence, was gutted in a fire last month.

It was then ripped down by a digger, outraging locals in the Dudley area who view it as a local landmark.

The man has been released on conditional police bail as enquiries continue.

Previously, police released two men on bail as part of their investigation.

A 66-year-old man from Dudley and a 33-year-old man from Milton Keynes were arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life.

The Crooked House was gutted in a fire before it was demolished
The Crooked House was gutted in a fire before it was demolished. Picture: Alamy

"We would like to thank everyone who has already come forward with important information about this investigation and those who are continuing to engage positively with officers," Staffordshire Police said.

"We understand that speculation is still widespread, both locally and online. We'd like to reiterate that we are working hard to get through an extensive list of enquiries at this time.

"The 66-year-old man and the 33-year-old man, who were previously arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life, remain on conditional police bail at this time.

"We are still asking those people who might have information which can help us to get in touch if they haven't already.

"Call us on 101, or message us using Live Chat on our website. If you prefer to report anonymously, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

Residents enraged by the pub's demolition have called for it to be rebuilt brick by brick and kept up a regular watch at the rubble site to ensure its pieces are not taken out.

The pub was demolished after the blaze
The pub was demolished after the blaze. Picture: Alamy
Locals have started a watch at the site
Locals have started a watch at the site. Picture: Alamy

Signs with Black Country phrases dot the area around the pub alongside protest flags that drape the fencing set up on the perimeter.

The pub was famous for its slope, which inside gave the appearance that coins were rolling uphill.

Their calls for it to be reconstructed were backed by West Midlands mayor Andy Street.

Historic England said it was keen to "consider all possible avenues" with South Staffordshire council to see the pub reconstructed.

"We offered our support to South Staffordshire Council last week and have been in regular contact with the council since to provide specialist advice as needed," said a spokesman.

"We are also happy to engage with the local community."

The council is investigating the demolition over potential breaches of the Town and Country Planning Act.

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