Kings Heath heritage up in smoke - Cash Converters destroyed by fire

more Kings Heath local news

The site where the Beatles once played in Kings Heath today lies in ruins.

A fire at the building, now Cash Converters on York Road, Kings Heath has caused major traffic disruption in the area with the High Street and York Road both closed to rush hour traffic.

The High Street is expected to remain closed for the rest of the day.

West Midlands Fire Service were called to the scene around 5am on Wednesday morning and eight appliances are tackling the major blaze.

Nobody was injured in the blaze, which police say is being reated as suspicious. Detectives have appealed for witnesses to contact police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

It is not known at this stage whether the neighbouring Hare and Hounds music venue and pub, other York Road shops or homes in Milford Place have suffered any serious damage, though Maurice Robinson Sports next door is clearly affected.

Cash Converters was previously the Ritz Ballroom, famous for hosting the Beatles in 1963.

Reacting on twitter local comedian and tv star Barbara Nice told B14KingsHeath : "What a shame, the Ritz Ballroom is a piece of history."

According to Wikipedia notable performances at the former Ritz included:

Read more about the history of this site.

(pic: West Midlands Fire Service)

(pic: Laura Somerton)

(pic: West Midlands Fire Service)

Local businesses will re-open as soon as possible (pic Jennifer Nadin at Cherry Reds)

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