Firefighters were called to the Picture House public house in Station Road at just after 5am today where they discovered the whole of the ground floor was ablaze.
Fire crews from Castleford, Normanton and Pontefract fire stations were called to the scene.
They used two hose reel jets and another large jet to put out the flames, and needed to deploy four breathing apparatus as well as high-powered ventilation fans to clear thick smoke.
A fire investigation officer also attended the incident and West Yorkshire Police has now revealed that it believes the fire was started deliberately.
No-one was injured in the incident.
Detective Sergeant Phil Davis of Wakefield District CID, said: “We are working with the fire service to investigate this incident and would like to speak to anyone who has information which could assist the investigation.
“We do believe the fire was started deliberately and while in this case, no-one was injured, this arson attack could have had even more serious consequences, particularly if the fire had spread.
“We are keen to speak with anyone who saw two men behaving suspiciously outside of the property just before the fire began.
“Anyone who has information about the fire is asked to contact Wakefield CID on 101 referencing police crime number 13170021749.
“Information can also be given in complete anonymity to the independent Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.”