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Dramatic bodycam video: Two rescued after suspected arson attack in Birmingham | UK News

Two people have been rescued after being trapped inside a burning building, following a suspected arson attack.

West Midlands Police said firearms officers spotted the fire at Villa Road, Lozells in Birmingham just before midnight on Sunday.

The police officers alerted the fire brigade and then entered the building next door before leading the occupants out to safety.

Footage showed them using a battering ram to break down the door to make the rescue.

They also checked another property located above the fire but found no one was inside.

Police said their officers were checked by paramedics at the scene, with one going to hospital for further checks for smoke inhalation.

They added that their investigators were treating the incident as arson.

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DS David Newson, from Birmingham CID, said: “This fire had the potential to have really serious consequences. Thankfully, the quick-thinking response of officers in the face of danger to themselves got the two residents to safety.

“We are working with our colleagues at WMFS Fire Investigation Team and would like to hear from local people as we try to build a picture of what has happened.

“Villa Road is a main route and we’d ask anyone who was driving along it between 11pm and midnight time, to take a look at any dashcam they may have, as it could hold vital evidence for our investigation.”

Police now treating fire at Britain’s ‘wonkiest’ pub The Crooked House as arson | UK News

Police say they are investigating a fire which gutted a historic pub as arson.

A blaze caused extensive damage at The Crooked House near Dudley, an 18th-century building, on Saturday evening, two weeks after it was sold by brewer Marston’s to a private firm.

Up to 30 firefighters were needed to tackle the blaze at the pub in Himley.

The pub became widely regarded as Britain’s “wonkiest” due to one side being significantly lower than the other, caused by the effects of nearby mining.

The remainder of the building was demolished by a mechanical digger on Monday, despite South Staffordshire Council saying it had permitted only the top floor to be demolished for safety reasons.

The Crooked House before the fire
Image:
The Crooked House before the fire

Its total demolition prompted Dudley North MP Marco Longhi to question why police did not intervene.

The council said it also was exploring whether the total demolition constituted a breach of the law.

Staffordshire Police said in a statement: “Our investigation into a fire at The Crooked House on Himley Road last Saturday, 5 August, continues as we try to understand the circumstances, which we are now treating as arson.

People inspect the rubble remains as they gather at The Crooked House

“We’re conducting a joint investigation with colleagues at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and are liaising closely with their fire investigators, who have confirmed that the cause of the fire cannot currently be determined.

“However, police are following up on a number of lines of enquiry.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Tom Chisholm added: “We understand the significance of this much-loved building and the upset and anger felt by many, so want to reassure you we’re doing all we can to understand more about what happened, and who was responsible.”

The burnt out remains of The Crooked House pub near Dudley. A fire gutted the 18th century pub just days after it was sold to a private buyer. Firefighters and police were called to the pub in Himley, West Midlands, at 10.45pm on Saturday. The blaze was extinguished and no-one was reported to have been injured, Staffordshire Police said. Picture date: Monday August 7, 2023.
Image:
The burnt out remains of the 18th century pub

He warned against “unhelpful” misinformation “circulating within communities and online” and said police are “trying to provide accurate and timely updates, but this takes time”.

Police said following an examination by a specialist fire investigator, into the cause of the incident they “believe the fire may have been started deliberately”.

The burnt out remains of The Crooked House pub near Dudley. A fire gutted the 18th century pub just days after it was sold to a private buyer. Firefighters and police were called to the pub in Himley, West Midlands, at 10.45pm on Saturday. The blaze was extinguished and no-one was reported to have been injured, Staffordshire Police said. Picture date: Monday August 7, 2023.

Officers and specialist accelerant detection dogs visited the site on Wednesday to investigate the grounds.

In a letter written by Mr Longhi, he questioned who was responsible for the demolition of the building and asked whether the police were notified before it took place, adding that the “public is extremely angry”.

In their response on Wednesday, DCS Chisholm said: “There are certain things that police and fire do not have the powers to deal with, the decision around partial demolition of the building, for example, when the scene was handed back to the owner”.

People inspect the rubble remains as they gather at The Crooked House

Since its demolition, Andy Street, the mayor of the West Midlands, said that local authorities will “get to the truth” and that he will continue to “keep the pressure on for a rebuild”.

It follows an online petition, set up by long-time regular Paul Turner, titled ‘Save The Crooked House’. The petition has attracted more than 13,000 signatures so far.