A SMITH’S Wood business was gutted by flames this week, after arsonists set fire to rubbish behind a shopping parade.
The blaze spread to the row of shops, in Arran Way, and destroyed Maxwells Florist, Knitting and Craft Centre.
Residents raised the alarm at just after 9pm on Monday evening, when they saw smoke pouring from the building.
Fire crews battled through the night to prevent the fire spreading to the other shops - two other premises suffered smoke damage.
Jim Phipps, aged 74, from Maxwells said: “I got a call on Monday evening saying ‘your shop’s on fire’.
“My shop is completely gutted. I’m just waiting for a report from the police and fire brigade.
“This was a very popular shop in the community. The people who did this are idiots, what else can you say?”
West Midlands Fire Service said, at one stage, eight crews were battling the blaze - including one hydraulic platform.
“Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus and utilising two hose-reel jets contained the fire to one shop,” said a spokesman.
Police have said that they’re treating the incident as arson. Anyone with information should call 0345 113 5000.