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Firefighters across region to start 24-hour strike today

It is to be the longest strike so far in this FBU campaign Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Archive

Hundreds of firefighters across the Midlands are due to strike today in a dispute over pensions.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union will walk out from 9am, for 24 hours, in what will be the longest strike in the union's three-year campaign.

The government says strike action is disrupting constructive discussions and will damage firefighters' standing with the public.

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Community centre fire treated as arson with intent to endanger life

West Midlands Police have launched an investigation after a fire destroyed a community centre in Birmingham.

Emergency services were called to the blaze yesterday morning at the Ulfah Arts Centre in Highgate Square.

Police say they are treating the fire as arson with intent to endanger life as the fire could have spread to residents living above the centre.

Destruction caused by the fire Credit: BPM Media

Detective Chief Inspector Richard Agar, from Birmingham East Police, said:

"The motive for the blaze is unknown, however we are aware of a malicious letter sent to the centre earlier this month."

"We are investigating this as a hate crime and, although apparently unconnected, we will explore any links between the two incidents."

"We have increased patrols in the local area and I would like to reassure the community that we are doing all we can to find those responsible."

Read more here.

Clean up underway after arson at community centre

Clean up underway after the fire at Ulfah Arts And Media in Highgate in Birmingham Credit: BPM Media

The clean-up is underway after a suspected arson attack on a community centre in Birmingham.

Ulfah Arts And Media, based at Highgate Craft Centre in Highgate Square, was destroyed in the blaze in the early hours of Tuesday 20th May.

Destruction caused by the fire in the early hours of Tuesday morning Credit: BPM Media

Police are investigating claims the fire could have been a racially-motivated attack, after the centre's CEO, Prashant Singh, received racist mail.

Ulfah Arts and Media spokeswoman Sarah Javid said:

“Over the last two months our CEO has been receiving hate mail which has been anti-Islamic,” she said. He also received a DVD which was full of race hate messages.

“Mr Singh has no idea why anyone would have a personal vendetta against him or the organisation. But the fire has destroyed everything. It’s destroyed equipment, but also all of our projects, some we have been working on for over a year.”

Arsonists torch community arts centre in 'racist' attack

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04:31 Severe fire at Highgate Craft Centre, sadly part of the old fire station. Police investigation underway. http://t.co/MFT4xzzJAq

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An arts & community centre in Birmingham has been targeted by arsonists in what's believed to be a racially motivated attack.

Ulfah Arts And Media, based at Highgate Craft Centre in Highgate Square, was destroyed in the blaze in the early hours of Tuesday 20th May.

A spokesperson for the centre says the fire comes after the centre's CEO received anti-islamic hate mail.

West Midlands Police say they are treating the fire as arson and are investigating.

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Firefighters to be at Meriden fire for next three days

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Meriden update: @solihullfire, @wardendfire, @sheldonfire still at scene. We're likely to be there for at least 2-3 more days...

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... at least 10 stacks of wood chip to be allowed to burn out under supervision, to avoid excessive smoke pollution from wetting them...

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... burning stacks described as 'mini volcanoes' by crews on site.

Crews still dealing with Meriden fire

Fire crews are still dealing with a fire at a recycling plant in Meriden in Warwickshire which broke out on Friday night.

The fire at Cornets End Lane, at A&A recycling Ltd, involved around 6000 tonnes of waste wood and chippings.

Two fire engines are still at the plant and water is being delivered as the fire is still not completely out.

Crews still tackling recycling plant fire in Meriden

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Fire Control are still receiving calls to the large fire in Meriden. We still have a number of crews in attendance dealing with the incident

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Meriden fire, crews still in attendance, smoke will be seen in the area, progress being made, further update mid morning.

Fire crews are damping down a blaze at a recycling plant in Meriden in Warwickshire which broke out on Friday night.

The fire at Cornets End Lane, at A&A recycling Ltd, involves around 6000 tonnes of waste wood and chippings.

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Fire at Cornets End Lane, Meriden is at A&A recycling Ltd not LaFarge Tarmac as previously reported. Smoke will be in the area for some time

West Midlands Fire Service originally tweeted that the blaze was at the granite quarry next door to the recycling plant, but last night corrected the earlier error, after quarry operator LaFarge Tarmac issued a statement.

Read: LaFarge Tarmac confirm fire was not at its quarry

LaFarge Tarmac confirm fire was not at its quarry

LaFarge Tarmac has this afternoon confirmed the fire reported to be at its quarry near Meriden in Warwickshire, was in fact at a neighbouring recycling plant.

Earlier today West Midlands Fire Service tweeted its crews had been dealing with a blaze involving a large pile of wood chipping at the quarry itself.

In a statement, a spokeswoman form LaFarge said:

Media coverage today has incorrectly stated that there was a fire overnight in Lafarge Tarmac's Meriden quarry in Warwickshire. The fire was in fact at an adjacent site. Lafarge Tarmac's site is unaffected. We are assisting the fire service who pumped water from our site to tackle the fire.

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