Demolition experts move in to flatten all that remains of arson hit Wisbech pub

JUST days after it was destroyed by an arsonist, this is all that remains of a Wisbech pub after contractors came in to demolish it.

Demolition teams are on site today atg the site of the former Blackfriars public house following Sunday night’s arson attack.

Photographer Brian Purdy captured these bleak images as workmen began clearing and flattening the site.

It is likely that the pub, in Whitby Road, will be re-developed, possibly for housing.

Fire chiefs were at the scene during the early part of the week, damping down after arsonists set light to the building in the early hours of Monday.

The pub’s owners and officials from Fenland District Council have been discussing its future.

Twenty-five fire-fighters tackled the blaze at the former Blackfriars Arms pub in St Augustine’s Road at around 12.40am.

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It took five jets and a jet from a turntable ladder to bring the huge fire under control at the pub, which has been unused for around two years.

Only one crew remained at 8.30am to ensure the fire was completely extinguished.

Fire chiefs say they have no knowledge of anyone being in the building at the time.

Steve Robinson, Station Manager for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We know there was electricity into the premises and are aware that entry was made before we arrived, but at this stage we aren’t ruling anything out.”

EDF Energy disconnected the electrical supply to make the fire-fighters’ investigations safer.

A Fenland District Council spokesman said: “FDC’s Building Control team was called at about 7.30am to advise on the structural stability of the building.

“It visited the site and arranged for some emergency work to be carried out. This includes the removal of an unstable chimney that was close to the footpath, re-boarding up openings on the ground floor and erecting fencing around the site to secure it overnight tonight.

“We have been in contact with the owners, who were unaware of the fire. They will be sending their own contractors and insurance loss adjusters to assess the damage.

“FDC will be invoicing them for the work that has already had carried out.”

The blaze follows a number of huge fires in the town that have destroyed a number of properties.

The Phoenix Hotel, the Flower Pot pub, Constantine House and a cottage in South Brink are some of the buildings which have been ruined by fire.