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Jhoots Pharmacy loses 'tens of thousands' after ice cream van fire

The former Jhoots pharmacy in Smethwick caught fire on August 13 (Credit: Handsworth Community Fire Station)
The former Jhoots pharmacy in Smethwick caught fire on August 13 (Credit: Handsworth Community Fire Station)

Jhoots Pharmacy estimates its former branch suffered "tens of thousands of pounds" worth of damage after a fire in a nearby ice cream van spread to the building.

West Midlands Fire Service was alerted to a fire in Cape Hill, Smethwick at 12pm on Tuesday (August 13), which seems to have originated from an ice cream van and spread to a former pharmacy, it told C+D.

It sent six fire engines and 30 firefighters to respond to the fire, which had spread to the ground, first, and second floors of the pharmacy premises and adjoining shops.

Jhoots Pharmacy told C+D that although no one was injured, the fire left the branch – which was permanently closed at the end of January 2019 – “badly damaged”.

Although the pharmacy was no longer operational, Jhoots said it is still paying rent on the premises and therefore stored some “non-perishable stock” at the former branch.

The fire caused “minor stock loss” that the chain estimates was worth “several thousands of pounds”, while damage to fixtures and fittings could cost up to “tens of thousands”, Jhoots added.

“It is extremely lucky that no one was on site, as staff and third party contractors had been [there] only last week,” Jhoots said.

West Midlands Fire Service remained on site until 10.30pm and is still investigating the cause of the fire. It is not thought to be suspicious, it said.

Damage to the building

Explaining the extent of the damage, Jhoots said the suspended ceiling on the ground floor is falling in and the façade has been badly damaged by the flames, which caused concerns in terms of the structural integrity of the building.

However, the local authority building control team inspected the premises and “is satisfied that the building is capable of being accessed”, Jhoots added.

The shops adjacent to the former pharmacy have been affected by the fire, but “not to the same extent as the Jhoots premises”.

Jhoots’ solicitor Ian Bowker said the chain “would like to say a huge thank you for the tremendous bravery and diligence of both the West Midlands Fire and Police Services for their respective efforts in dealing with this incident”.

Has your pharmacy ever suffered a fire?

Freelance Chemist, Pre-reg Pharmacist

Just seen an email for a pharmacy agent...

a certain company is selling 8 branches..... ??they must be having money issues... oh and then a fire starts from an ice cream van!!

ill be informing an insurance company  me thinks 


Hanbal Chaudry, Community pharmacist

Not really a news story! Shit happens. Scrapping the barrel c&d.

Leon The Apothecary, Student

Ice Cream? Fire? Huh?!?

mohamed nanji, Community pharmacist

contractor stands to lose tens of thousands of pounds if you are under insure in stock levels/building cover - make sure you check every year -

SP Ph, Community pharmacist

"""West Midlands Fire Service remained on site until 10.30pm"""

Which means the fire in the VAN might have started at least couple or more hours before this time. That means it was bright and everybody could see that the van was burning (No details of whether anybody was in the van) and no one took actions till the fire spread to the now defunct Pharmacy and damage it badly??

Very suspecious indeed, more details would be ideal not just half cooked journalism.

John Urwin, Community pharmacist

Hold the front page. Pharmacy chain loses stock in fire in old premises used as a warehouse. No-one hurt. No suspicious circumstances. Shame, but probably insured. 

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

well said.

But, Icecream Van in front of the place. Van burnt only the shop opposite burnt. No harm to adjusent property. People may ask what's going on ?? The burning not reported in major news channels, but made a headline story on a sponsered website!!!

This could be a plot for next british crime drama series, don't you think??

Lucky Ex-Locum, Superintendent Pharmacist

That van is parked REMARKABLY close to the front of the store.....

Lucky Ex-Locum, Superintendent Pharmacist

Does anyone remember the Lloyds warehouse fire from about 30 years ago? There were a lot of suspicions about that one as well.

A LOCUM, Community pharmacist

two  disgraceful comments on here ,there are no suspicious circumstances , these  need to be deleted , mine always are ?

*This comment has been deleted for breaching C+D's community principles*

Freelance Chemist, Pre-reg Pharmacist

Very convenient fire, remember the good old days Charlie!!!!!!

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