A man has been charged with starting a fire which destroyed the Reeves Furniture Store in Croydon on Monday.

Gordon Edward Thompson, 33, of Waddon Road, Croydon, was charged with arson with intent to endanger life and arson at the furniture store and two counts of burglary and one count of violent disorder in Croydon town centre.

He was remanded in custody to appear at Croydon Magistrates' Court tomorrow.

The store had withstood two World Wars since being set up in 1867. Its owner, Trevor Reeves, is the fifth generation to run the business, which employs 15 people.

It was set up by his great-great-grandfather, Edwin Reeves. It was held so close to the heart of the local community that part of the town, Reeves Corner, was named after it.

Elsewhere, two people have been charged with murdering three men who were hit by a car while protecting shops during the violent disorder in Birmingham on Wednesday.

A 26-year-old man and a 17-year-old boy appeared in court this morning.

Joshua Donald was charged with the murders of the three men and was remanded in custody to appear at Birmingham Crown Court tomorrow.

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was also remanded to appear at the crown court tomorrow.

More than 2,000 people have now been arrested across England in connection with last week's violence.

Hundreds of people took to the streets of Birmingham to hold a peaceful protest in response to the deaths of the three men.

Community groups from across the city staged a ‘Peace Rally’ in Winson Green, where 21-year-old Haroon Jahan and brothers Shazad Ali, 30, and Abdul Musavir, 31, were killed last week.

The three men were struck by a car in Dudley Road as they were trying to protect shops from looters.

All three were pronounced dead in hospital on Wednesday.

The Acting Head of London's Metropolitan Police, Tim Godwin, has said that as many as 3,000 people may face arrest for their part in the recent rioting.

Meanwhile, the President of the Association of Chief Police Officers and former PSNI Chief Constable, Sir Hugh Orde, has strongly criticised plans by Prime Minister David Cameron to invite a former senior US police officer, Bill Brattan, to advise on how to tackle gang violence.

In a newspaper interview, Mr Orde said there were still hundreds of gangs operating in cities where Mr Brattan had worked.