Detectives are investigating a suspected arson attack which destroyed the upstairs of a historic city centre pub.
The blaze was started in a flat above the Talbot and Falcon on Northgate at 11pm on Monday night.
The intense fire ravaged throughout the upper floor of the pub.
It continued to smoulder until Wednesday morning when firefighters returned to put out burning embers in the ceiling joists.
A fire investigation team is working with Wakefield CID to establish the cause of the blaze.
Crew commander Dave Bastow, from Wakefield Fire Station, said: “The flat was completely gutted by the fire - is was quite an intense fire.”
The Talbot and Falcon was evacuated at the time of the fire and no-one was injured.
The pub, which has been in the city centre since the 1700s, has been owned by Punch Taverns for the past ten years.
A spokeswoman for Punch Taverns said: “The cause of the fire is still unknown. Punch Taverns and the licensees at the Talbot and Falcon are doing everything they can to assist the emergency services with their ongoing investigation.”
The flats above the pub were rented out as bedsits to private tenants.
Access to them is through a separate door at the side of the Irish-themed bar.
It is believed that the door may have been unlocked before the fire was started. Detectives want to speak to witnesses who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously outside the pub on Monday night or anyone else with information.
They should contact Wakefield CID on 101. Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
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