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Martyn Fisher

BY MARTYN FISHER

Tuesday 31st May 2016, 17:39 London

Man charged in relation to fire at major market

Stephen Wilkinson, 59, of Redditch, in Worcestershire, has been charged with arson with reckless intent to endanger life

Man charged in relation to fire at major market

The fire at the market

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A man has been charged after a fire at one of the UK’s leading wholesale markets.

Stephen Wilkinson, 59, of Redditch, in Worcestershire, has been charged with arson with reckless intent to endanger life after a fire at Birmingham wholesale market, on 6 August 2015.

The blaze - with a smoke plume that was highly visible in the city centre - took about 40 firefighters nearly two hours to control.

It also rendered parts of the busy and popular wholesale site - near to the famous Bull Ring shopping area in the heart of the UK’s second city - out of action for several days, due to structural damage, and quantities of stock were also destroyed in the blaze.

Wilkinson, of Mickleton Close, appeared before Birmingham magistrates on Wednesday, 18 May.

The blaze is understood to have affected two units out of a total of around 80 on the site, and most businesses were able to carry on trading around the damaged parts of the building in the days that followed.

Birmingham Wholesale Market is set to relocate to a purpose-built facility at The Hubb, in Witton, with construction of the new site currently in the offing.

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