Arsonists blamed for fire at pub

Arsonists are being blamed for a serious fire at a pub in Wisbech in the early hours of today.Fire crews from across the Fens and West Norfolk tackled the blaze at the Royal Standard, in Elm Road.

A major fire at a pub in the early hours of today is being treated as suspicious, the fire service said today.

Fire crews from across the Fens and West Norfolk tackled the blaze at the Royal Standard, in Elm Road, Wisbech.

The fire is thought to have been caused by a wheelie bin outside the pub being set alight, before flames spread to the building.

“Four people were escorted to safety before the arrival of the fire service,” Cambridgeshire Fire Service said this lunchtime. “This incident is now being treated as suspicious.”

Two crews from Wisbech, a turn table ladder from Dogsthorpe, and fire crews from West Walton and Kings Lynn were called to help tackle the fire.

Ady Slack, station commander, said: “This was a serious fire and has destroyed about 50 per cent of the roof space.

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“Thanks to the fire fighters, the main construction of the building has been saved, but the main building is uninhabitable.

“Luckily the residents were able to escape from the property before the fire had taken hold and have not been injured. If they had been in the property for much longer the smoke in the building could have made escaping very difficult indeed.”

Fire crews worked hard to prevent the fire from spreading and removed external and internal roof tiles.

Breathing apparatus was used by crews to tackle the blaze, and by 5am they began the process of damping down.

A salvage operation was launched to rescue more valuable items from the property, he said, which otherwise might have been destroyed by fire or water.

Crews left the scene at 9am. Police are now investigating the fire.