Fire in Birmingham high-rise tower

Officers were called to a fire in a tower block in Birmingham just before 11:30am on Saturday. The incident, which is suspected arson, happened in a communal area of the 32-storey Cleveland Tower in Holloway Head.

West Midlands police are investigating the incident, with support from specialist fire investigators.

Four fire engines and around 20 firefighters were sent to the scene, from Ladywood, Bournbrook and Highgate Community Fire Stations. The first crew arrived in 4 minutes and 28 seconds. Area Commander Ben Brook, of West Midlands Fire Service, said:

“We understand that around 750 people live in the tower block, but that no-one was injured. Following the Grenfell Tower fire in London last month, today’s incident was understandably shocking for everyone concerned.

“Some 30 to 40 people decided to leave the building, although this was from areas not affected by fire or smoke. The building’s design, which includes compartmentalisation of individual flats, performed as expected.

“Damage caused by the fire was confined to the lobby area, although smoke affected the building from the 15th floor to the top of the building. We are working closely with West Midlands Police and liaising with WM Housing who own the building.”

“I urge everyone living in tower blocks to have a plan of what to do should a fire start in their own flat or elsewhere in the building.”

West Midlands Fire service have prepared a simple checklist to help the public in the event that there’s a fire in their flat. They say residents should:

  • plan and practise an escape route with anyone you live with – it’s usually your normal way in and out
  • close doors behind you as you leave
  • activate the fire alarm if you can do so safely
  • don’t use lifts
  • get out, stay out, call 999

If there’s a fire in another part of the building:

  • know your landlord’s advice, which may be ‘stay put’ or evacuate
  • fire safety standards mean individual flats should be safe from fire for 30-60 minutes

In either scenario, you should remain calm and call 999 as soon as possible. More details can be found at


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