Bargain Booze fire damage 'caused by van set alight'
Police investigating a fire which spread to an off-licence in Dudley believe it was started by offenders who set a stolen van alight.
Officers were alerted to the fire at Bargain Booze on Dibdale Road, Milking Bank, by West Midlands Fire Service at 0435 BST on Thursday.
A police spokesman said the fire is believed to have spread from a stolen blue Peugeot Boxer van.
He said the damage was likely to cost tens of thousands of pounds.
The van, which was parked outside the store, was reported as stolen during a burglary at an address on Nith Place in Dudley overnight on 6 April into 7 April.
Police closed Milking Bank from Charlecote Drive to Aintree Way while fire crews brought the fire under control. The road re-opened at 0630 BST.
Houses bordering the premises, on Salisbury Close and Badminton Close, were temporarily evacuated.
Det Con Andy Barnsley said: "This fire has severely damaged the business premises.
"It is believed the van, containing tools, was taken in the early hours and was then driven to the car park adjacent to the Bargain Booze store and the Meadowlark Pub.
"It was here that the van was set alight."
He asked anyone who was passing by at the time to get in touch.
He added: "We believe the offenders had a second vehicle which they used to leave the scene and so are keen to hear from anyone who may have seen them leaving the area."