Fire crews believe Birmingham Broad Street blaze started by poorly discarded cigarette

A fire which broke out in a 42-storey building on Broad Street, Birmingham is thought to have started because of a "carelessly disposed of cigarette".

West Midlands Police said the fire, which happened on Sunday 14 August, occurred in a void area between the buildings Lee Longlands, a furniture store, and The Mercian, a new build multistorey office and apartment block.

Smoke could be seen rising from The Mercian, which suffered the most damage - though it did not start in the building.

Almost 200 residents in the Mercian apartments had to be evacuated and put up in temporary accommodation while fire crews checked for hotspots.

In a statement, Mercian representatives said: "Moda, The Mercian has reopened following a fire next door to the building on Sunday afternoon. Thanks to the fast work of the West Midlands Fire Service there has been minimal damage and the building is now back up and running."

Fire crews carried out checks in both buildings throughout the night before allowing residents to return this morning.

Six fire crews were called to the incident at around 2:40 in the afternoon, with the first crews arriving in just over four minutes.

Paramedics from West Midlands Ambulance said one woman presented herself after inhaling smoke.

West Midlands Fire Service said: "A single female resident self-presented to West Midlands Ambulance paramedics at the scene with smoke inhalation but was discharged at the scene.

"There were no other reported casualties."

They added: "The cause was determined to have been careless disposal of a cigarette into a void area, which then ignited a rubbish fire that spread to the Mercian building."

The West Midlands Metro, which had to suspend services on Broad Street while fire crews attended the scene, began running again shortly after 8:30pm and is still running this morning as residents return.