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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,

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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.

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

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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

Smoke from Northfield fire seen from Kings Norton

The smoke seen from a window in Kings Norton Credit: Jack Donohoe

An ITV News Central viewer has sent in a photograph showing the smoke rising up from the Cadbury family's former home in Northfield, Birmingham.

It could be seen from as far away as Kings Norton.

Pictures: Fire at Northfield Manor House is arson

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