Live updates

Suspected gas explosion rips apart flats injuring two

Fire crews are investigating whether the blast was caused by a gas explosion Credit: ITV News Central/Bob Withers

Two men have suffered serious burns after an explosion at a flat in Birmingham.

The emergency services were called to the flats in Northfield shortly after 8.00pm last night Credit: ITV News Central/Bob Withers

Paramedics were called to a property on Aldersmead Road in Northfield just after 8.00pm last night. The cause of the explosion is unknown.

The flats were completely ripped apart by the blast Credit: ITV News Central/Bob Withers
Two men were taken to hospital with 30 percent blast injuries and burns. Another man was treated for shock. Credit: ITV News Central/Bob Withers

One man in his 30s and another in his 20s were taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

A shot looking into the kitchen of the downstairs flat, which is thought to be the source of the explosion Credit: ITV News Central/Bob Withers

Another man, thought to be in his fifties and living in the flat above where the explosion happened, is being treated for shock and is being cared for by his family.

Woman dies in house fire

West Midlands Fire Service has confirmed that crews found an elderly woman dead in her home as they attended reports of a fire in Harborne yesterday.

Firefighters were called to a first floor flat on Harborne Park Road. Upon further investigation they discovered the smell of smoke was coming from the ground floor and found a woman's body.

Area Commander Shilton said: “Sadly, in spite of our crews getting to the scene in just over six minutes, the lady had already passed away. Our own investigators will be working with the police to establish exactly what happened. Our sympathies are with the lady’s family and friends.”

Firefighters are repeating calls for people to remain vigilant during the current 96-hour strike by firefighters which runs until 6pm on Tuesday.

Advertisement

More than 40 fires in West Mids during first hours of strike

West Midlands Fire Service have admitted the first 12 hours of a 96 hour strike by members of the Fire Bridgades Union were "challenging".

The service has released a list of every incident attended by 17 available appliances working in the region last night.

At 7:11pm, crews attended a fatal house fire in Wednesbury but firefighters say the fire started before the strike action had begun.

  • Incidents 6pm-7am:
  • 1801 Perry Barr, fire involving food on grill
  • 1812 Dudley, saucepan on cooker
  • 1837 Kings Norton, controlled burning
  • 1851 Cradley Heath, conifers ignited by firework
  • 1859 Coventry, road traffic collision, car and motorbike, one man released using small tools
  • 1911 Wednesbury, fatal fire: sadly, an eldery man appears to have been overcome by smoke from a slow-burning accidental fire involving smoking materials. The fire, in the kitchen of a terraced house, was out when we arrived. We believe this fire occurred several hours earlier.
  • 1945 Wombourne, Staffs, fire in a stable
  • 1950 Bordesley, small fire at disused factory
  • 1956 Sutton, false alarm
  • 1957 Shirley, bin fire
  • 2006 Birmingham, bin fire
  • 2017 Birmingham, fire in car engine
  • 2026 Edgbaston, false alarm
  • 2034 Kings Heath, food on cooker, fire out on arrival
  • 2056 Birmingham, greenhouse fire, possibly started by firework
  • 2115 Harborne, false alarm
  • 2120 Edgbaston, false alarm
  • 2127 Birmingham, firework through letterbox, out on our arrival
  • 2140 Oldbury, false alarm
  • 2149 Birmingham, small fire on cooker
  • 2155 Balsall Heath, false alarm
  • 2205 Wolverhampton, domestic lock-out
  • 2214 Birmingham, recycling bin fire
  • 2245 Coventry, false alarm
  • 2300 Birmingham, recycling bin fire
  • 2345 Birmingham, two vehicles on fire
  • 2359 Birmingham, bin fire
  • 0119 Hockley, false alarm
  • 0138 Stretchford, lamppost on fire
  • 0142 Birmingham, recycling bins on fire
  • 0212 Great Bridge, false alarm
  • 0234 Edgbaston, false alarm
  • 0235 Tipton, car fire
  • 0239 West Heath, Birmingham, recycling bin fire
  • 0245 Dudley, false alarm
  • 0309 Palfrey, false alarm
  • 0310 Tipton, road traffic collision/police incident. Our personnel treated two casualties at scene
  • 0312 Walsall, factory fire in three-storey building measuring 90m x 90m. Crews were there for approximately three hours
  • 0316 Lozells, false alarm
  • 0329 Wolverhampton, false alarm
  • 0403 Cradley, chip pan fire in flat
  • 0527 Ladywood, false alarm
  • 0553 Sutton Coldfield, alarms
  • 0607 Birmingham, false alarm equipment
  • 0611 Birmingham, car fire
  • 0631 Wolverhampton, fire in the open

Man dies in house fire during strike by firefighters

A man has died in a house fire in Wednesbury during the firefighters' strike.

West Midlands Fire Service said when crews arrived at the property in Wednesbury, the fire was out.

Area Commander Simon Shilton said:

“Sadly, we attended one incident in which an elderly man had died. It appears that he had been overcome by smoke from a slow-burning fire in his kitchen. The fire was out when we got there and had occurred several hours earlier."

Crews attended more than 40 incidents in the region last night with 17 appliances available to respond.

The strike action by members of the Fire Brigades Union started at 6pm last night and will end on Tuesday at 6pm.

West Midlands Fire Service appoints new chief

A patron of a charity supporting burns victims in the West Midlands has been appointed chief of West Midlands Fire Service today.

Phillip Loach, 47, who will officially serve as Chief Fire Officer from today, was appointed temporarily to the post in November last year following his predecessor’s retirement.

I am humbled by the confidence the West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority have shown in me by making me the CFO of West Midlands Fire Service. My absolute focus will be on translating this confidence into actions that continue to provide the highest levels of protection and prevention for vulnerable people.

– Chief Fire Officer Phillip Loach,

Three schoolboys arrested over Cadbury arson attack

Northfield Manor House Credit: ITV Central

Three schoolboys have been arrested on suspicion of starting the fire which destroyed the former home of the Cadbury family in Birmingham.

Northfield Manor House was torched in an arson attack on Wednesday night.

The boys aged 12, 14 and 15 were questioned yesterday evening and have now been released on bail.

Advertisement

Investigation into arson attack on former Cadbury home

The Northfield Manor House building Credit: ITV News Central/Richard Eaton

Investigations are continuing into a fire at the former home of the Cadbury family in Birmingham.

The Northfield Manor House building was destroyed in an arson attack.

At its height, up to 100 firefighters tackled the blaze which started on Wednesday night.

The Grade II listed building is the former home of the Cadbury family Credit: ITV News Central/Richard Eaton
It took 12 fire crews to bring the blaze under control Credit: ITV News Central/Richard Eaton

'Children had been using Cadbury manor as playground'

Firefighters have confirmed children appear to have been using the empty manor house as a playground.

The former home of the Cadbury family was destroyed by fire last night, and investigations are underway to determine how it started - it is thought to have been arson.

Steve Husbands from West Midlands Fire Service says they had received a call to attend the property just 24 hours before, with reports of children leaving the area.

UoB Vice-Principal 'saddened' by damage to Cadbury house

The Vice-Principal of the University of Birmingham says he, and many others at the university are 'saddened' by the damage to the Cadbury Manor House, which was destroyed by fire last.

The university owns the site.

We are deeply saddened that the historic Manor House, which the University bought from the Cadbury family in 1953, has been severely damaged by last night's fire.

We are extremely grateful to the Fire Service and others who worked tirelessly to get the fire under control, make the area safe, and ensure no one was injured.

The Manor House was used by the University as a student residence until 2007. It was awaiting planning approval from the City Council to be sensitively converted into flats as part of a wider redevelopment of the site.

The site, including the Manor House, was boarded up to prevent access and the University employed an external security company to provide 24/7 monitoring of the site.

The University retains its desire to keep the structure of the Manor House but now needs to properly assess its condition. We are working with engineers and the local authority building control to understand the level of damage, make the structure safe and secure the site.

– Professor Adam Tickell, Vice-Principal of the University of Birmingham

More pictures show Cadbury manor house damage

The fire ripped through the house in Northfield last night Credit: ITV News Central/Richard Eaton
Fire crews are still damping down the house Credit: ITV News Central/Richard Eaton
The Grade II listed building is the former home of the Cadbury family Credit: ITV News Central/Richard Eaton
Crews from 12 fire engines tackled the blaze at its height Credit: ITV News Central/Richard Eaton
Load more updates