Flames and smoke seen pouring from Smethwick flat

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media captionFootage shows flames and plumes of black smoke pouring from the window of a flat

Firefighters have been battling a "severe" blaze in a flat above a shop where flame could be seen rising high into the air from a window.

Crews were dispatched to the blaze on Bearwood Road, Smethwick, at about 15:30 GMT.

Neighbouring properties were evacuated as crews investigated whether the flames had spread, West Midlands Fire Service said.

No casualties were reported and the cause was so far unknown, it added.

Paul Kitchen, station commander from Handsworth Fire Station, advised the road would remain closed for some time on Monday evening.

Several bus services have been diverted as a result.

image copyrightWest Midlands Fire Service
image captionFirefighters were called to the scene at about 15:30 GMT

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