Flames leapt into the sky when a sign outside a packed cinema exploded into flames.
Crowds gathered in Birmingham’s ‘golden mile’ as hundreds were evacuated from the Cineworld cinema and nearby Nando’s restaurant.
The fire which was located above the eaterie, took hold shortly before 6pm on Sunday.
Flames appeared to be spreading from a sign on the side of the building on Bishopsgate Street.
Firefighters said it took them half an hour to extinguish the flames and nobody was injured.
People were quickly evacuated from restaurants Tiger Bills and Nando’s below, as well as the Cineworld cinema in the Five Ways Leisure Complex.
Emergency services arrived quickly on the scene and the area was cordoned off.
Debris from the sign and panels at the top of the building could be seen falling to the ground as firefighters battled the flames.
Eyewitness Louise Warren, 23, told the Birmingham Mail : “We were in Nando’s and we saw from the window drops of fire falling down.
“They shouted ‘Fire, everybody out.’
“When we came outside we could see the whole sign was on fire and it started to spread upwards.”
Cinema-goer Mike Stuart, 54, said: “We were evacuated from the cinema by 6pm.
“The fire brigade were already dealing with it when we got out.
“It must have been a quick response as we went in the cinema at around quarter to.”
A spokeswoman for West Midlands Fire Service said that firefighters from Ladywood and Highgate stations tackled the fire.
The flames were extinguished within half an hour and damping down was taking place.