Fire that ripped through derelict Staffordshire pub was arson - police
A fire which tore through a derelict pub in Staffordshire this morning has been deemed arson by the police.
Staffordshire Police is appealing for information after the blaze at the Darlaston Inn in Stone, just after 9.30am on Wednesday.
Police and fire crews were called to the former pub. The blaze was extinguished by fire crews and police have now announced that it is believed to have been started deliberately.
The Darlaston Inn, which contained a Wacky Warehouse, has remained empty for five years and its exterior has since been covered in graffiti.
The pub closed in 2018 after it was put up for sale by Greene King. Stafford Borough Council has previously rejected proposals to knock the pub down on safety grounds.
Some of the rejected schemes for the land included a petrol station, a convenience store, and a KFC.
However, Euro Garages Ltd and Greene King launched an appeal against Stafford Borough Council in June 2021 after the council rejected their proposal for the pub to be turned into a petrol station and car wash.
In June 2023, the appeal overturned the council's rejection of the proposal, thereby granting planning permission for the project.
A previous appeal was rejected in 2020 due to concerns that pedestrians would be attracted to the site and the proposed uncontrolled pedestrian crossing was found to be unsuitable.
A spokesperson for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "Firefighters from Longton, Newcastle and Stone and Staffordshire Police were called to the Darlaston Inn, Stone, just after 8.15am this morning following reports of a fire at the pub.
"We found a small fire at the pub which was extinguished just before 10am using a hose reel jet.
"A positive pressure ventilator fan was also used to clear the premises of smoke.
"The cause of the fire was deemed to be deliberate and crews and officers remain at the scene."
Anyone with any information, CCTV or dashcam footage that could help the police with their inquiries is asked to contact them on 101, quoting incident 158 of October 4.
You can also use Live Chat on the Staffordshire Police website.
If you prefer to report anonymously, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.