Express & Star

Investigation under way and roads closed after canal boat blaze spreads to trees and bushes

Fire crews rushed to the scene of a canal boat fire in Pendeford which had spread to nearby bushes and trees on Friday morning.

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A stock image of a Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service fire appliance

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service were called at 2:46am to Wobaston Road, off Pendeford Mill Lane

According to a statement on social media at 7:00am, a total of three fire crews were deployed.

Commuters were being asked to avoid the area, with police confirming at 7:10am that a road was closed.

"Pendeford Mill Lane is currently closed in the direction of Billbook," South Staffs Police said.

"We are diverting traffic along Barnhurst Lane and through Pendeford."

"Drivers are urged to avoid the area while we continue working with emergency services colleagues at the scene."

West Midlands Ambulance Service said in a statement: "We were called to reports of a fire on a canal boat near to Pendeford Bridge on the Shropshire Union Canal at 2.47am.

"One ambulance and a paramedic officer attended the scene.

"However, on arrival there were no patients discovered and we were stood down".

At 12:06pm, the fire service confirmed the blaze was extinguished, saying: "Crews have left the scene of a boat fire in South Staffordshire at Pendeford Mill Lane.

"One canal boat was well-alight and the fire had spread to nearby bushes and trees.

"The fire has since been extinguished.

"An investigation into the cause of the fire is underway."

South Staffs Police said in an update on 12:13pm: We worked with colleagues at West Midlands Police to deploy a drone to search the area.

"Bridges three to five are currently blocked off.

"Road closures remain in place in the Wobasto nRoad Pendeford and Bilbrook areas.

"drivers should follow diversions".