A FIRE at the old Bromsgrove council house offices took four crews from across Worcestershire three hours to tackle on Thursday night.

The blaze, at the former Bromsgrove District Council base on Burcot Lane, is believed to have started in a small room on the first floor of one of the buildings.

It took firefighters from 9pm to around midnight to completely extinguish the fire and make the building safe. An investigation is to be launched into the cause.

A witness described seeing a firefighter smashing a glass door to gain access to what used to be the committee rooms and council chamber.

A Hereford and Worcester Fire Service spokesman said: "At 8.59pm four crews – two from Bromsgrove, one from Redditch, one from Kidderminster – were called to a fire in an unoccupied building.

"A search was carried out inside and no one was found. The fire was extinguished with two hose reel jets and the incident was closed at 1.05am.

"A fire investigation will be carried out."

A West Mercia Police spokesperson added: "Police officers and the fire service attended and investigations are ongoing to establish the circumstances surrounding this incident."

Bromsgrove District Council moved from Burcot Lane to new premises in Parkside back in November 2015 and the buildings have lay dormant for more than three years.

A Freedom of Information request submitted by the Advertiser last year revealed that, up to January 2018, more than £235,000 had been spent by the council in maintaining the unoccupied buildings.

But just three months ago, in December 2018, the council announced the buildings would be demolished as part of a redevlopment plan.

A council spokesperson said: “We are currently working with the fire service to establish the exact cause of the fire and will be putting together an action plan to reduce the risk of any future incidents.”

The blaze is the second major fire in Bromsgrove in the space of several days after an arson attack at the former Greyhound pub on Fox Lane on Monday night.

Two teenagers arrested on suspicion of arson after that incident have been released.