Investigations on hold as pub site too dangerous

The site of a Shirebrook pub which was destroyed in a suspected arson attack at the weekend is still too dangerous for police to begin their investigations.

Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service has confirmed the blaze at the derelict White Swan pub, in Portland Road, is being treated as suspicious, following the fire on Saturday evening.

But a spokesman for Derbyshire police told Chad that formal police investigations had not yet started as the area had been left too unstable by the blaze.

She said: “We will be working with our colleagues from the fire service, but the site is in such a dangerous condition that we can’t carry out any investigations at this stage.”

Bulldozers finally moved in yesterday and demolished the remains of the pub, after it partially collapsed in the blaze.

Portland Road remained closed to traffic until about 4pm yesterday and diversions were in place to keep motorists away from the remains of the building.

Six pumps from stations around the area were called to the blaze, following a call to emergency services at around 4.20pm.

A high-rise appliance was also called to the incident, although appliances from Mansfield and Warsop were returned to base. It is not yet known how the blaze started, but the building was regularly used by vagrants as a place to sleep, the fire service said.

In 2009, Tesco bought the site and announced that they planned to demolish the building and create around 180 jobs in the Shirebrook area by building a new store on the former pub.

But delays angered local community leaders, who said the site had been blighted by problems including break-ins and anti-social behaviour.

Work was finally due to begin last week to knock down the former White Swan, along with flats and houses on Market Close, to make way for the new supermarket.

Tesco spokesman Adam Williams said work would continue on the site once investigations were completed.

PICTURED: Firefighters battling the blaze at the weekend.