NEWS: Bagot Arms pub burns down in ‘deliberate’ arson attack

Words & pics by Liam Smith

Smoke billowed across North Birmingham yesterday as over 40 firefighters tackled a blaze at the old Bagot Arms pub at the Tyburn Road roundabout.

West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) were alerted to the fire by “multiple calls from the public” at around 5pm on Thursday August 5, dispatching seven fire engines to the scene.

Pumping water from the canal, emergency services shut down several roads around the area – including the busy thoroughfares Eachelhurst Road and Tyburn Road.

Firefighters worked tirelessly to control the blaze until late in the evening, finally starting to reduce the number of fire engines at the scene at around 10pm.

WMFS Station Manager Mark Hudson, who was Incident Commander at the site, told Erdington Local: “Our engines arrived on the scene very quickly to a fully developed fire in the roof space and on the ground and first floor.”

“The pub is void/derelict and due to the multiple sources of fire within the pub it is likely that is has been started deliberately. We have attended a number of incidents here previously, so we are comfortable in saying that the fire has been started deliberately.

“There isn’t anybody injured as far as we are aware. We still need to conduct a full search of the building; we have been unable to up to now due to the fire spread and also the damage to the building.

“At the moment we are focusing on defensive firefighting (putting the fire out) until we get the go ahead from the structural engineer.”

“There are currently seven fire engines, including two specialist resources which consist of a hydraulic platform, which can apply a lot of water at height and a high-volume pump, which is taking water directly from the canal and being pumped into the fire.

“Eventually we will be scaling back our resources but for now we remain in place”

In a previous statement, West Midlands Fire Service Group Manager Rob Davis told Erdington Local:

“First call received at 17:02 with a large amount of multiple calls from the public. We had seven fire engines with supporting vehicles and 45 firefighters attend this incident. We also deployed our high-volume pump to supply water from the nearby canal.

“This was a derelict public house due for demolition and there were no persons involved. Following an investigation by our officers this fire is believed to be started deliberately.”

Seven fire engines and 45 firefighters tackle blaze at Bagot Arms

For more from West Midlands Fire Service visit www.wmfs.net

NEWS: Multi vehicle fire at Pype Haye Park sends thick black smoke across Chester Road

Words & pics by Liam Smith / Video by Tina Kerr

Local residents watched on today as thick black smoke billowed out from behind a residency near Pype Hayes Park.

Two fire engines were called to the scene at around 16:08 on Chester Road – at the vehicle entrance to the park – as a large group gathered on the street to watch firefighters tackle the blaze.

The cause of the fire was identified as two mini-coaches that had been set alight, emitting thick smoke which filled the nearby roads – causing passing cars to come to a standstill as extremely low visibility made it dangerous for traffic.

Smoke was visible far across the local area, with local resident Sue Parker saying: “I saw the smoke from my back garden on Tyburn Road.”

Lisa Smith, who lives in Pype Hayes, told Erdington Local: “I could see black smoke billowing out whilst in my garden. I alerted my family members right away who quickly ran to the scene.

“Initially, we were worried that it could have been a neighbour’s house on fire, but fortunately this was not the case and nobody was hurt as a result of it.”

Another local resident, Tina Kerr, took a video of the scene from the Chester Road – warning people to stay away from the area as conditions got worse. Watch her video below.

Families attending Robert Wilkinson’s Family Funfair were also caught up in the chaos as the fire raged on not far from the event site, emergency vehicles and fire engines causing a congestion of cars wanting to leave the park whilst the incident was dealt with.

Once the situation was under control and there was no danger to public safety, the West Midlands Fire Officer in charge at the scene told Erdington Local: “there are no casualties, nobody was present at the scene when we arrived thankfully.”

When asked what could have caused the fire, or if it could have started accidentally or naturally, he added: “it looks like a suspicious fire; we’re not treating it as accidental”.

The flames were soon under control, after multiple hoses were deployed with the second engine present at the scene leaving relatively quickly.

However, several curious onlookers stayed to watch as the firefighters continued to control the blaze, with one lady even buying some cold drinks for the emergency service staff from a nearby shop.

The fire has since been completely subdued and a team of investigators are now working to determine the cause of the multi-vehicle fire.

According to the public safety website fireprotectiononline.co.uk in the UK alone ‘there are approximately 100,000 cars fires and around 100 people are killed in a vehicle fire each year.’

Video of smoke across Chester Road – filmed by Tina Kerr

For more on fire safety from West Midlands Fire Service visit www.wmfs.net