Blaze at Harborne Lord of the Rings pub

The Huntsman, formerly known as the Kings Arms, was renovated at the end of May

A "severe" fire which broke out at a Lord of the Rings-themed pub may have been sparked by nearby workers re-felting a roof, fire crews say.

Passers-by reported clouds of thick smoke coming from The Huntsman, on the High Street in Harborne, Birmingham, shortly before midday.

Steve Husband, of West Midlands Fire Service, said it appeared the "hot gear" being used by workmen on the roof caused sparks on the timbers below.

Harborne's High Street remains shut.

The Huntsman, formerly known as the Kings Arms, was renovated at the end of May following a £40,000 makeover.

At its height, 30 firefighters were called to tackle the blaze.

A spokesman for West Midlands Fire Service said about 60% of the pub had been affected by the fire, which was mainly on the first floor and in the roof space.

'Whole roof ablaze'

He added: "We've controlled the fire before it spread to adjacent buildings which we were initially concerned about."

Passer-by Stuart Chamberlains said he alerted staff at The Huntsman to the burning building.

He said: "We were outside the building when the smoke started billowing from the roof.

Harborne pub roof fire Fire crews said that about 60% of the building had been affected

"The pub was occupied at the time and we told the occupier that they should leave while I called 999.

"Within about 10 minutes, the whole roof was ablaze with flames some 30 feet in the air."

Jon Tattersall, who works at St John's Church in Harborne, which is just opposite the Huntsman pub, said he was "shocked" at the scale of the fire and said the pub was now just a "gutted building".

He said he did not believe anyone had been inside the pub at the time.

He added: "There were a lot of firemen running around... The pub's very close to the road and is situated at the end of the high street, so it would've been a danger to traffic and pedestrians, so the road has been shut off."

Mr Tattersall said the smoke had since died down.

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Birmingham & Black Country

Weather

Birmingham

20 °C 15 °C

BBC Local Live

  1.  
    Cadburys donated house 09:31:

    Local historian Chris Upton has been telling BBC WM about the history of Northfield Manor, which the Cadbury family bought in the 19th Century.

    northfield manor

    "[The property] goes back to the 1700s, though of course it has been rebuilt a number of times. Most of the building that went up last night was Victorian."

     
  2.  
    Youths punched girl in face 09:22: Birmingham Mail

    Three young thugs spat at a teenage girl and punched her in the face in an unprovoked attack when she shunned their advances after they followed her off a bus in a busy part of Birmingham.

     
  3.  
    Watch: Northfield Manor fire 09:10: Midlands Today

    We've posted some video of last night's fire at Northfield Manor on our Facebook page.

    fire at northfield manor
     
  4.  
    Another fire 24 hours before 09:03: Steve Hermon Journalist, BBC WM

    I've been told there was a smaller fire, which is also being treated as arson, at Northfield Manor 24 hours before the blaze that destroyed the building.

     
  5.  
    News on the hour 08:55: Jay Vydelingum Journalist, BBC WM

    The former home of the Cadbury family in Birmingham has been destroyed in an arson attack.

    Northfield Manor, an empty four storey property off Bristol Road South in Northfield, was gutted by a fire last night and much of it has now collapsed. Listen live

     
  6.  
    Making the building safe 08:42: Steve Hermon Journalist, BBC WM

    Firefighters say contractors will be on site today and that the priority will be to make the building as structurally safe as possible.

     
  7.  
    Top headlines
     
  8.  
    Cadbury family 'shocked' 08:28:

    Justin Cadbury, the great-great grandson of the founder of Cadbury's, has told BBC WM he is "deeply shocked" at the news of the fire that has destroyed Northfield Manor.

    Although he never lived in the house - the family sold it the year he was born - he said: "It's memories that make the soul of a house and bring real sadness and I feel very sorry for them."

     
  9.  
    Northfield road closure 08:24:

    Manor House Drive in Northfield is closed at the A38 Bristol Road South junction because of the fire at Northfield Manor. Police are directing traffic.

    See BBC Travel News for more information.

     
  10.  
    Part of building completely gutted 08:17: Steve Hermon Journalist, BBC WM

    Northfield Manor was built in 1890 by the Cadbury family. It's now owned by the University of Birmingham but we've learned that because of the extent of the fire damage it will have to be demolished.

    Northfield Manor

    Several firefighters are still working on the roof and the middle of the building has been completely gutted.

     
  11.  
    Home to be demolished 08:08: Steve Hermon Journalist, BBC WM

    I'm in Northfield at the site of the fire at the former Cadbury family home.

    We've just learned that because of the extent of the damage it will have to be demolished.

     
  12.  
    Northfield Manor House fire 08:03:

    The former home of the Cadbury family in Birmingham has been destroyed in an arson attack, the fire service says.

    Manor House Cadbury home fire July 30 2014 Birmingham

    At its height up to 100 firefighters were tackling the blaze at Northfield Manor House from about 20:00 on Wednesday.

     
  13.  
    Thunder possible 08:02:

    After a bright start, some showery rain, perhaps heavy and thundery, is possible.

    weather

    Becoming brighter from the northwest later, with sunny spells and isolated showers. Feeling pleasantly warm in sunnier intervals.

     
  14.  
    Good morning 08:00: Ed Barlow BBC Local Live

    I'll be bringing you the latest news, sport, weather and travel throughout the day for Birmingham and the Black Country.

    You can get in touch by emailing locallive@bbc.co.uk.

     

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.