Body believed to be inside derelict Hanley bar destroyed by fire in suspected arson

Emergency services were called to the building on Brockley Square at around 5.45am on Tuesday 12 March. Credit: BPM Media

A body is believed to be inside a derelict bar in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, which was destroyed by a fire earlier this week.

Staffordshire Police says it believes someone may have died in the blaze in the former Yates's.

Emergency services were called to the building on Brockley Square at around 5.45am on Tuesday 12 March, with around 60 firefighters tackling the blaze.

The building remains too unsafe to enter, as firefighters continue to dampen down the site.

A man, 63, of no fixed address, was arrested on suspicion of attempted arson with intent to endanger life, and remains in custody.

A woman, 33, from Stoke-on-Trent, who was arrested on suspicion of the same offence, has been released on conditional police bail while inquiries continue.

Firefighters remain at the site to dampen down hotspots. Credit: BPM Media

Staffordshire Police said: "The large cordon at the scene of a fire in Hanley is still in place today as we continue to search the area and appeal for information. Officers have been working alongside colleagues from Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service since the first call came in at 5.45am on Tuesday."Once we’re able to safely go inside the building, we will be completing a thorough search alongside fire investigators to determine the cause of the blaze."We’re aware of reports suggesting there might be a body inside the building. At this time, we can sadly confirm that we believe there is a body inside, but we’re unable to carry out a search until the area is deemed safe. We will share updates as soon as we’re able to."We know the cordon is causing disruption to local people and businesses and we’d like to thank people for their patience and understanding at this time. We will start to scale it down as soon as it’s safe to do so. We’re keen to speak to people who might have information that can help with our investigation."

Emergency services say they'll enter the building as soon as it is safe to do so. Credit: BPM Media

A Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: "We are continuing to dampen down hotspots at a disused nightclub in Hanley. Up to 60 firefighters have been working around the clock to contain the fire since it was first reported at 5.45am on Tuesday."As soon as it’s safe to do so, we’ll be entering the building to carry out an investigation into the cause of the fire. The cordon is still in place in the area alongside our colleagues from Staffordshire Police."

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