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10 August 2011, 10:41
A fire that's completely destroyed the thatched roof of a historic town centre pub is being treated as possible arson attack.
The fire at the listed Norman King pub on Church Street in Dunstable early on Wednesday 10 August 2011 isn't being linked to rioting across the country the same evening though.
The fire started just after midnight on Wednesday. As well as completely destroying the thatched roof, the fire has also badly damaged the building's structure.
Fifty people - including guests at the nearby Old Palace Lodge Hotel - had to be evacuated. The guests were taken to a nearby Holiday Inn. People living in nearby homes were also evacuated because of fears the flames could spread to other buildings.
Some buildings next door to the pub did suffer damage as a result of the fire.
Fire crews from Dunstable, Toddington, Leighton Buzzard and Luton were all called to tackle the flames.
An investigation's underway into the cause of the fire. Heart understands there was a similar fire at the pub in July 2011.
This latest fire at the Norman King happened just twenty four hours after a suspected arson attack at the Priory Pub at the junction of High Street North and Chiltern Road in Dunstable - the third at the Priory in three weeks.