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Media captionFirefighters have been battling flames at a Birmingham restaurant

Forty firefighters have been battling a “severe” blaze at a restaurant from which a man has been rescued via a first-floor window.

Crews were called to African Village in Perry Barr, Birmingham, shortly before 16:00 GMT.

Within 50 minutes, flames had spread to 80% of the Birchfield Road premises, West Midlands Fire Service said.

Eyewitness footage shows the roof well ablaze, with orange flame lighting up the evening sky.

Station Commander Lee Baker tweeted there had been an “inwards” collapse of part of the roof which was hampering operations, although “good progress was being made”.

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West Midlands Fire Service

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Crews have been dealing with a partial roof collapse

Additional firefighters were sent to the scene after eyewitness videos were forwarded to the fire service before the first crews arrived, a spokesperson said.

Describing the blaze as severe, the spokesperson added a ladder was used to rescue the man from the window while another person escaped unaided.

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West Midlands Fire Service

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The fire at African Village forced road closures

Police confirmed on Twitter that Birchfield Road and Wellington Road had been closed, with motorists advised to avoid the area.

Image copyright
Sean Langley

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Orange flame in the building’s roof lit up the evening sky

The building was formerly the Crown and Cushion pub.

Crews expect to remain at the scene for “hours”.

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