Two Arrested After Crooked House Pub Fire

by Pelican Press
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Two men have been arrested in connection with a fire that turned the Crooked House pub, a charmingly slanted watering hole in England’s West Midlands, into a pile of rubble earlier this month.

A 66-year-old man from Dudley, a town just west of Birmingham, and a 33-year-old man from Milton Keynes, a town more than 50 miles northwest of London, were taken into custody on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life, the Staffordshire Police Department said in a statement on Thursday.

The identities of the men were not released, but the authorities said they were being questioned as the investigation into the fire continues.

The Crooked House pub was originally built as a farmhouse in 1765, but the structure began to sag and sink in the 19th century after years of coal mining under its foundation. Its appearance, which drew curious glances and earned the pub the title of “Britain’s Wonkiest Pub,” had become part of the fabric of Himley, a village in Staffordshire.

Days later, the remaining structure was demolished, angering many local residents and drawing criticism from the South Staffordshire local council.

After the demolition, Matt Wright, who lives in a neighboring town, said people were grieving the loss of the pub.

“It’s probably the only pub in the world where you’d come out and feel more sober than when you were in,” he told The New York Times after the fire. “It was a really bizarre feeling that you couldn’t experience anywhere else. And it made everyone who came really happy.”

On Thursday, Andy Street, the West Midlands mayor, praised the news of the arrests and reiterated his desire to see the pub rebuilt.

“My position on the site hasn’t changed — it must be rebuilt,” he said in a statement on Facebook. “Those conversations are active and underway.”

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