AN Indian restaurant in Halesowen was severely damaged by fire today when flames ripped through a first floor storeroom.

Part of the roof of the Bangla Lounge was destroyed and the ground floor restaurant was also affected by fire, smoke and water.

Five crews using breathing equipment fought the blaze after the alarm was raised at 8.40am and the High Street was sealed off. 

Station commander Dave Janes, from Smethwick,said they arrived to find flames and smoking shooting through the roof and used a positive pressure ventilation  fan-type machine to push the acrid smoke away as they made their way through the building.

He said the blaze was brought under control within 15 minutes and the Halifax bank next door was allowed to open after an hour.

Mr Janes said there was no obvious cause and a fire investigation team would be sifting through the wreckage.

Crews from Smethwick, Brierley Hill, Northfield, Woodgate Valley and Highgate attended and Mr Janes said the incident proved the "resliience" of the West Midlands Fire Service, which also had 20 crews tackling a major papermill blaze in Neachells, Birmingham, at the same time.