Four Men Arrested Following Burslem Fire

Four men have been arrested following a fire at well-known former pub in Burslem.

Emergency services were called to The Leopard, on Market Place, last Saturday afternoon (22 January).

Colleagues from Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) attended to tackle the fire and a number of road closures were put in place. Neighbouring properties were also evacuated as a precaution.

Four men from Stoke-on-Trent, aged 23, 30, 33 and 51, were arrested at the scene on suspicion of arson and burglary offences. They have since been released under investigation, pending further enquiries.

We are working with SFRS as they establish the cause of the fire. Structural engineers have also been called in-order to assess the damage.

A stretch of Market Place, from the Old Town Hall to the junction with Wedgwood Street/Swan Square, remains closed. Parts of Queen Street and Clayhanger Street are also closed, with diversions expected to be in place for some time.

Inspector Matt Bennion said: “We would like to thank local residents for their patience and support as we continue with the investigation this afternoon.

“We know that this incident has impacted the community, as the Leopard is a renowned and historic Stoke-on-Trent building, but we kindly ask that the public avoid the area at this time.

“We have received reports of private drones flying over the site, which could potentially damage and interfere with professional drones operating to assist the fire service. You could also put officers at risk and be committing a criminal offence. We will be following up these reports and take action when appropriate.

“An emergency service presence is expected to remain at the scene over the next few days, with increased neighbourhood patrols also taking place.

“Anyone who was in the area at the time of the fire, or may have any information that could assist with our investigation is asked to get in touch.”

Any witnesses can message Staffordshire Police on Facebook or Twitter quoting incident number 292 of 22 January, call 101 or alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Tony Walley
Tony Walley
News & Sport Editor

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