Birmingham & Black Country

Large fire destroys Smethwick industrial estate buildings

Smethwick fire Image copyright West Midlands Fire Service
Image caption Firefighters are expected to remain at the scene for much of the day

A "severe" fire has ripped through a West Midlands industrial estate, destroying a number of businesses.

At least five units housing electrical goods, clothes and stationery supplies were affected on the site in Smethwick.

West Midlands Fire Service said a number of them were at risk of collapse.

Roads around the Middlemore Industrial Estate were closed, causing heavy delays, while nearby Wattville Primary School was also shut.

Its head teacher Joanne Roache said smoke was "thick" in the area and the safety of pupils had to be the priority.

Smoke from the blaze could be seen from miles away as fire crews worked to bring it under control.

The fire service was alerted at about 02:45 GMT and at its height 80 firefighters were involved.

Crews are expected to remain there for much of the day.

Image caption Smoke from the fire could be seen from Birmingham city centre
Image copyright Handsworth Green Watch
Image caption A number of buildings are in danger of collapse

West Midlands Fire Service is advising people in the area to keep their doors and windows shut because of smoke

Group Commander Nigel Soaden described it as a "very dangerous scene", but there had been no reports of injuries.

He said many of the units on the estate had been badly damaged, but the "severe" fire was now under control and crews were successfully stopping it from spreading.

"It is a large scale fire. We've got the fire surrounded and in control. It's just the case of putting it right out," he said.

Image copyright Handsworth Green Watch

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