POLICE are today probing a suspected arson at a notorious pub in Dagenham.

The blaze ripped through the bar of the Ship & Anchor in Wood Lane between 1.25am and 2am on Sunday. A 28-year-old man, who was upstairs at the time, managed to flee.

A Met spokesman said: β€œHe escaped without injury. An arson investigation is underway.”

The pub was the scene of repeated fights, shut in 2008 due to financial difficulties but reopened under new management.

The Ship & Anchor is believed to have closed again about two weeks ago.

Barking and Dagenham licensing officer PC Corinne Holland stressed the latest closure was not the result of a licensing review.

Anyone with information regarding the blaze is urged to call PC Sean Spencer at Barking CID on 020 8217 5535 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.