Disused Bristol Street shop gutted by fire

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Fire at disused cinema on Bristol Street, Birmingham
Image caption,
One lane of the A38 heading out of the city was closed by the fire

A massive blaze has torn through a former furniture shop in the centre of Birmingham, gutting the building.

The fire at the former Alfred Allen Ltd building, Bristol Street, broke out at about 02:15 BST.

West Midlands Fire service said the "severe" fire was brought under control before the morning rush hour.

The A38 out of the city was closed for several hours, but all the roads around the scene of the fire have now been reopened, the fire service said.

Station Commander Dave Burton said: "The building itself had to be structurally inspected by engineers and the good news is that we've been able to fully open all the roads affected, both behind Bristol Street and in front."

He said crews were able to surround the fire quickly and prevent it spreading to neighbouring properties.

The furniture shop closed about eight months ago and the building was in the process of being refurbished.

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