A Birmingham pharmacist who has seen his shop destroyed by the elements twice in two years has opened his doors to the public again - crossing his fingers it will be third time lucky for his firm.

Sirpal Chemists owner Rakesh Sirpal said he had thought things could not get any worse after last year's tornado left his Sparkbrook shop in ruins.

That was until the same pharmacy was destroyed again when a fire swept through the building just six months later.

"At the time the tornado hit Birmingham I was on holiday in Sharm el Sheik in Egypt, where only a few days earlier we'd escaped terrorist bombs," said Mr Sirpal.

"I received a text message from a friend saying there had been a tornado in Sparkbrook.

"It was only when I arrived back in Birmingham I realised the extent of the devastation.

"Trees were uprooted, cars overturned and the road where my pharmacy is had been cordoned off by police."

Mr Sirpal said the aftermath of the tornado was difficult, but by Christmas the business had seemed to be out of the woods.

"Then the fire hit us in January and we had to close again," he said. "Watching my business burning in front of me was heartbreaking.

"Fortunately, I own another pharmacy on the same street and operated from there. This meant I was still able to retain and provide a service for some of our existing customers. If it hadn't been for my other shop, I would have without doubt lost all my business."

He took the opportunity to expand and revamp the premises and opened the new-look chemists last week, with Sonia Deol, a radio presenter for BBC Asian Network, as guest of honour.