A MAN arrested in connection with a blaze that tore through a Worcester shop while a family slept upstairs has appeared in court in connection with the fire.

Steven Taylor of Buttermere Drive in Warndon, Worcester, appeared at Redditch Magistrates Court on Tuesday, August 12 charged with arson with intention to endanger life following the fire at Boughton Stores in Bromyard Road which began at 1.30am on Monday.

Taylor, aged 35, did not enter a plea and was remanded in custody. He will face trial at Worcester Crown Court on Monday, November 17.

Between 35 and 40 firefighters were called to the blaze which left the shop and the upstairs of the attached house badly damaged.

The three adults and three young children living in the house were forced to flee in the middle of the night and residents of nearby houses were also forced to evacuate their homes as gas canisters sold by the shop caught fire.

Four cars, including three belonging to the adjacent Hylton Nissan dealership, were destroyed in the fire.

Anyone with any information on the fire can call West Mercia Police on 101, quoting incident 35 of August 11.