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2 May 2013, 08:16
West Midlands Fire Service say the 'major fire' on the high street in Harborne is being treated as arson.
The blaze (picture credit @AdamHarborne) started at around 6 o'clock on Thursday (2nd May) morning in a store room at the rear of the Stead and Simpson shoe shop.
West Midlands Fire service say early indications suggest that the store was broken into and stock was stolen before the fire was started.
The High Street was closed in both directions between Lordswood Road and Metchley Lane whilst emergency services tackled the blaze. They were later re-opened just before 3pm.
Witnesses described to us that they saw large plumes of black smoke and firefighters trying to access neighbouring shops to try and stop the fire spreading.
All of the two-storey, mid-terrace shoe shop has been affected by fire, including the roof. The premises are in a row of seven, brick-built shops, and the fire spread to the roof space of Superdrug next door.
Colleagues from West Midlands Police have been assisting while West Midlands Fire investigation experts look into the cause.
Charlene Shams, manager of Harborne Stores told us 'The whole high street is covered in black smoke. The firemen have smashed the windows of the betting shop next door. There is an ambulance here. The shoe shop is gone, completely destroyed.'