One man rescued as firefighters tackle ‘severe’ restaurant blaze in Birmingham

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About 40 firefighters are tackling a “severe” blaze at a restaurant in Birmingham which has seen one person rescued from a first floor window.

West Midlands Fire Service said it was called to reports of a blaze at the African Village restaurant on Birchfield Road in Perry Barr shortly before 4pm on Tuesday.

Firefighters used a ladder to rescue one man from a first floor window of the premises, while another person managed to escape unaided, a fire service spokesman said.

Eight fire engines were sent to the scene to tackle the blaze, which had spread to about 80% of the building as of 4.50pm, the fire service spokesman said.

“They [firefighters at the scene] are describing it as a severe fire within a restaurant and bar premises,” a West Midlands Fire Service spokesman told the PA news agency.

Additional firefighters were sent to the scene in north Birmingham after videos of the blaze were sent to the fire service before the first crews arrived, the spokesman said.

West Midlands Police said on Twitter that Birchfield Road and Wellington Road had been closed due to the blaze.

The fire service said in a tweet that its crews were likely to be at the scene for “several more hours”.

In July 2019, the African Village restaurant was banned from serving food to customers with food allergies after one diner ended up in hospital.

Birmingham City Council said at the time that restaurant staff had assured a customer – who was allergic to foods containing peanut or fish – that an allergen-free meal would be provided.

However, the diner suffered a “severe” anaphylactic reaction after eating the meal and was hospitalised.

An inspection by the council’s environmental health officers found a “lack of knowledge” in relation to food allergens at the restaurant.

It resulted in the council obtaining an emergency prohibition order against the restaurant.

The council said the order would remain in place until the restaurant could demonstrate it was able to provide allergen-free meals.

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