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Police sprayed with 'substance' after attending 'deliberate' fire at flats - arrest made

Four police officers have been taken to hospital after being sprayed with an "unknown substance" while at the scene of a suspected arson attack where a man "barricaded" himself in a property.

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Two fire engines and two brigade response vehicles rushed to the blaze at a block of flats on Manby Road in Castle Vale, Birmingham, shortly before 2.45am on Thursday.

A "small fire", which had begun in the hallway of a two-storey property, was discovered.

Upon arrival at the scene, four police officers were then sprayed with an "unknown liquid substance" and taken to hospital for treatment.

Fire chiefs have ruled that the blaze was started "deliberately".

A 38-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life and assault on police officers. He has been taken into police custody to be questioned.

West Midlands Police Supt Sam Batey, from the Birmingham policing team, said: "Our main priority was to ensure the safety of residents and from body worn video we feel our officers displayed some serious bravery considering what they were presented with.

"They are being treated for their injuries and we are hopeful that they will make a full recovery.

"We have a man in custody and he will be questioned this morning and our enquiries are progressing."

Manby Road was partially blocked while the fire was extinguished.

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