Detectives are investigating a suspected arson attack at a 500-year-old pub five miles from the Crooked House.
The Greyhound and Punchbowl in Bilston, Wolverhampton, parts of which are thought to date back to 1450, was severely damaged in a blaze in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Fire and police services suspect the fire was started deliberately and are treating it as arson. Officers from West Midlands Police are looking through CCTV footage and carrying out door-to-door enquiries.
No one was injured when the Grade II listed building went up in flames at around 3.40am on Saturday, but around a quarter of the ground floor was damaged by fire and smoke. It took fire crews nearly two hours to put out the blaze.
Billy Badu, a local resident, said: “I thought it was very sad to see such a beautiful building that is probably hundreds of years old going up in a fire.”
Employees appealed for donations to help rehome a long-term tenant who lived above the pub. Katie Nicholls wrote in a fundraising page online: “As most of you know today there was a horrific fire at the Greyhound pub in Bilston, a man has lost his livelihood and people have lost jobs.
“But even more tragically Dave, who has lived above the pub for a long time, has lost everything he owns including his photography equipment for his career, his cherished old photographs and memories and all the clothes he owns. He is also now faced with finding a new home.
“Although the pub is insured, this doesn’t include Dave’s belongings, so we’re all asking that as a community everyone come together and supports Dave by donating what you can.” As of Sunday afternoon, donations had reached £500.
Andy Street, the Conservative Mayor of the West Midlands, said on Sunday it was “absolutely gutting to see another historic West Midlands pub burn down”.
The blaze happened two days after officers arrested two more people in connection with the suspected arson attack on the Crooked House earlier this summer.
The 18th-century pub, known as Britain’s wonkiest, caught fire on Aug 5 and was demolished two days later.
A 34-year-old woman and 44-year-old man, both from Leicestershire, were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit arson with intent or being reckless as to whether life was endangered. Staffordshire Police said the pair have been released on conditional police bail while the investigation continues.
A 66-year-old man, a 51-year-old man and a 33-year-old man, all previously arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life, remain on conditional police bail.