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Mystery over cause of fire at historic Wellesbourne pub

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MYSTERY surrounds the cause of a fire that destroyed a Wellesbourne pub last month with investigators admitting they may never know how it started.

The scene in Wellesbourne hours after the fire service extinguished the fire at the Stags Head pub in Wellesbourne. . Photo: Mark Williamson W40/10/21/0095. (53265907)
The scene in Wellesbourne hours after the fire service extinguished the fire at the Stags Head pub in Wellesbourne. . Photo: Mark Williamson W40/10/21/0095. (53265907)

As reported in the Herald, The Stag’s Head pub in Wellesbourne caught fire just before 1am on Monday, 11th October, with seven fire engines taking five hours to extinguish the blaze.

The thatched roof of the Grade II-listed building caught fire and flames quickly spread through the premises, but luckily those inside were able to escape.

Warwickshire Police arrested a 30-year-old man shortly after 2am that morning. He was released under investigation while enquiries continued.

However, six weeks later and investigations have so far produced no clear idea of the cause of the fire.

A Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: “Following meetings with external agencies and Warwickshire Police, we are still carrying out investigations, however, the findings for the report are heading towards, at this point, an unknown cause.

“Warwickshire Fire & Rescue Service have also been meeting with external fire investigators and linking together to ascertain further information that could be relevant to the investigation.”

A Warwickshire Police spokesperson said: “We are still awaiting the report from the fire brigade. The arrested man is still released under investigation while enquiries continue.”

The community’s respone to the fire has now seen more than £6,000 raised. A JustGiving page was set up by Wellesbourne residents to provide financial support to the owners and staff affected by the fire.

A further fundraiser was organised by community-owned pub The Fox at Loxley on Tuesday, 16th November, raising another £450.

Stag landlord Kelly Parker Jackson said: “We were speechless at the kindness of everybody and the concern that they had.

“We’ve distributed the money to staff and the residents that lived on the site so that they can get on and start afresh. That community spirit is still really strong, and it’s evident from the funds they raised. It’s been overwhelming.

“My husband and I attended the Fox fundraiser and it was so kind of them to offer us 50 per cent of the takings, it’s great to see another business thriving.

“We hope to return the favour in the future, but obviously not in such horrible circumstances! It’d be great to do a joint venture perhaps.”

Work on restoring the pub could soon start.

Kelly said: “The scaffolding is up so that they can take the chimney down and protect the building from the elements and prevent any further damage. Then the building work can start once it’s secure inside and we’ve cleared the site. We’ll get access at the end of the week, which we’re looking forward to.

“The project manager will know more once we’ve had access to the inside of the building, but with it being Grade II-listed it will have to be put back to its original state on the outside, so it’ll definitely look the same in that respect. We’re just glad that it’ll be reinstated, and that the village icon that everybody recognises will be back the way it was."

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