Wickham Market: Landlord held in connection with pub blaze

Fire Fighters work on damping down the fire at The George pub in Wickham Market

Fire Fighters work on damping down the fire at The George pub in Wickham Market - Credit: Archant

A SUFFOLK landlord has been arrested on suspicion of burning down his pub.

John Parnell was held on suspicion of arson following a fire at The George, in Wickham Market, in the early hours of Thursday morning.

It is understood that the 59-year-old, who has run the pub for the last seven years, was questioned by police and released on bail.

Five fire crews were called to the blaze in High Street at 2.25am after receiving several calls from members of the public.

When firefighters from Woodbridge, Framlingham, Saxmundham, Orford and Ipswich East arrived on scene there was initially concern that people may have been inside the pub, but by 3am everyone had been accounted for.

The flames had been bought under control by 7am, by which time the roof had been completely destroyed. Investigators visited the scene and police closed High Street in both directions near to the Chapel Lane junction.

UK Power Networks engineers temporarily switched off power to 60 homes in Wickham Market to help police and fire crews to safely carry out their investigations.

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A police spokeswoman said: “Police were contacted around 2.30am and attended the scene with fire and ambulance personnel to discover the only occupant was out of the building but that the property was well alight.

“Initial enquiries into the incident led to the arrest of the 59-year-old and he has now been bailed to return to police on June 19 as a full investigation gets under way.

“Officers are asking anyone who may have been in the area overnight to come forward if you saw anything suspicious and are also keen to speak to anyone with information that may help enquiries into the blaze.”

If you can help please call Suffolk Coastal CID on 101.

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