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Arson fear as mother and daughter saved from blaze.

A Smethwick mother and daughter were rescued by firemen using ladders after they became trapped by a suspected arson blaze at their home yesterday.

Mrs Barbara Webb, aged 46, and her daughter, Annabel, aged 17, were helped from a bedroom window of the burning terraced home in Thimblemill Road.

Firemen said the two owed their lives to a smoke alarm which woke them after the blaze began about 3.30am.

Mrs Webb, who suffered cuts to her leg kicking in the bedroom window, and her daughter were taken to City Hospital, Birmingham, suffering from the effects of smoke.

Leading Fireman David Baker, of Smethwick fire station, said: "The cause of the blaze is still being investigated but there were signs of an accelerant having been used and it looks as though it was started deliberately."

Drive-through hold-up

A cashier was threatened with a handgun by a man who fled with pounds 134 from a Smethwick drive-in restaurant.

The robber confronted the cashier at the security hatch to the drive-through area at McDonald's in Hagley Road West, Bearwood, on Monday night.

He was aged 26 to 30, 5ft 6in to 5ft 9in tall and wore a white, puffer-style jacket.

Smoking campaign

A Black Country health trust is to enlist the help of chemists in a new move to cut smoking.

Two expert pharmacists are to open their doors for free drop-in sessions where smokers wishing to kick the habit can get useful advice and information.

The project is being run by Wolverhampton Health Care NHS Trust at Featherstone P K Pharmacy, Bridgnorth Road, Compton from March 9 to 21 and at Penn Care Pharmacy, Warstones Road, Penn until March 11, which is National No Smoking Day.

Homes planning appeal

A development company is to appeal against the refusal of planning permission for a controversial housing scheme in Staffordshire.

Walton Homes, of Sutton Coldfield, wants to build 21 houses on a former allotments site in Tinkers Green Road, Wilnecote, Tamworth.

People living nearby protested that the extra homes would add to traffic problems and Tamworth Borough Council refused planning permission.

The company has appealed to the Environment Secretary Mr John Prescott.

Crash motorist robbed

A motorist was robbed of his wallet containing pounds 260 as he exchanged details with another driver following a two-car crash in Willenhall.

Police said the victim, a 37-year-old man from Northfield, Birmingham was approached by a youth who pushed him against a car and grabbed the cash.

The attack happened in Walsall Road at 3.25pm yesterday and any witnesses should contact police on 01922 439020.

Pedestrians injured

A schoolgirl suffered minor leg injuries in one of two accidents within minutes involving pedestrians and cars.

Kimberley Parker, aged 11, of Stourbridge Road, Brierley Hill, was treated at Russells Hall Hospital, Dudley after she ran from between parked cars into the side of a Vauxhall Astra in Kingswinford Road about 3.45pm on Monday.

In the other accident at about 3.40pm in Tower Street, Dudley, Mrs Janet Harbottle, aged 56, of Brookdale Close, suffered minor injuries after she was in collision with a Citroen car.

Drink-driver escapes jail

A Black Country man caught driving when nearly four times over the drink drive limit escaped a prison sentence yesterday.

John Field (48), of Lomond Road, Sedgley, was ordered to do 100 hours community service, put on probation for a year and banned from driving for three years after he admitted driving with excess alcohol and fraudulent use of a tax disc.

Dudley magistrates were told Field, a former reporter on local newspapers, was breath-tested after being stopped in Norman Road, Dudley.

pounds 10,000 jewellery grab

Jewellery worth more than pounds 10,000 was stolen in a break-in at a store in the Black Country.

The burglary was carried out at Goldshires in Market Place, Great Bridge, Tipton. A 33-year-old man is helping police with inquiries.

ps Post Script

Residents in Bromsgrove are being asked to get "canny" and help with recycling.

The number of recycling banks in the district is to be increased to accept both steel and aluminium and drinks cans.

The extra banks are expected to be sited at Stourbridge Road Car Park, the Market Hall in Bromsgrove, at Asda in the town and at Pool Furlong, Clent.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Mar 4, 1998
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