During the course of several air-raids on Birmingham in 1940, the greater part of Messrs. Fletcher Hardware, Ltd., warehouse was destroyed by fire. Many gutted buildings collapsed, but a four-storey reinforced concrete building remained standing, although it had been also swept by fire from end to end. Many longitudinal cracks appeared in the concrete, and permanent deformation occurred in some floor panels. After superficial repairs in 1942, the floors were tested and passed as serviceable. By 1950, much of the repair work proved ineffective, and the corrosion of the reinforcement behind the spalling concrete required urgent attention.