A man is fighting for his life in hospital as detectives are brought in to investigate a suspected arson attack in Sowerby Bridge this morning.
Plumes of thick acrid smoke could be seen pouring from the ground floor windows at the Wellington Inn in Rochdale Road as fire crews arrived at 2.20am.
The only occupant, a man in his 50s, was rescued by firefighters wearing breathing apparatus.
They found the man unconscious in the ground floor lounge of the pub.
He was unconscious at the scene and was treated by paramedics and taken by ambulance to Pinderfields Hospital, Wakefield.
West Yorkshire Police’s Homicide and Major Enquiry Team launched the investigation and are appealing for witnesses to come forward.
A 31-year-old local man has been arrested on suspicion of Arson with Intent to Endanger Life and remains in police custody.
Det Supt Simon Atkinson of the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team said; “Whilst this fire took place in the early hours, it is possible someone locally has heard or seen something suspicious and we would urge them to come forward.
“A 50-year-old man was taken to Hospital where he is being treated for life-threatening injuries.
“A 31-year-old local man has been arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life and remains in police custody. Enquiries are ongoing.”
The road was closed while the incident was ongoing and initial investigations were carried out at the scene. A scene remains in place today.
Fire crews from Elland, Halifax and Illingworth were called to the scene.
Halifax Watch Commander Richard Lightowler said: “The pub was completely involved in fire on the ground floor and we sent firefighters wearing breathing apparatus inside. The building had a complex layout and we carried out a full search to check for occupants.
“The crews rescued a man who was found unconscious.
“Paramedics were already on the scene and he was taken to Pinderfields Hospital with serious injuries.
“The ground floor of the building has been destroyed by fire and the upper floor is heavily smoke logged.
“An investigation is underway to establish a cause of the blaze.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team on 101.
In unrelated investigations, police would like to speak to the people pictured in the image gallery below. The people pictured in the images may be witnesses as well as suspects. If you recognise anyone, contact police on 101 quoting the reference number on the image caption.