Arsonists target gay friendly pub

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Two men are being questioned after a gay friendly pub was set on fire in Bolton.

Arsonists targeted the Star and Garter Public House in the early hours of this morning, setting fire to the front door after pouring petrol around it.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze before it spread to the rest of the establishment.

Landlady Christine Riley, who was asleep above the pub at the time, told the Bolton Evening News, “We’re a gay-friendly pub, so it could have been a homophobic attack.

“At this stage, we just don’t know.

“There were just two of us in the pub at the time me and another member of staff.

“We only knew the front door was on fire when the firemen broke in.”

She added, “We’re still in shock.

“I don’t want to think what could have happened if someone hadn’t been walking past and called the fire brigade. There’s some smoke damage but we’re determined to open for business tonight as usual.”

Two men, aged 32 and 23, were arrested and are being questioned on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life.

A spokesman for Bolton CID said: “The fire is being treated as arson, only minor damage was caused but there were two people inside at the time.”