Major blaze ravages Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh building (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

16 June, 2018, 19:13 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • A huge fire is raging through the Glasgow School of Art with smoke billowing flames visible for more than 10 miles

The building was designed in 1909 by renowned Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and is one of the world's most important examples of Art Nouveau architecture.

The BBC reports the fire likely began at approximately 23:20 on Friday evening, starting in the Mackintosh building but quickly spreading to the on-campus nightclub and O2 ABC music venue, the latter two reportedly sustaining "extensive damage".

More than 120 firefighters have been called to tackle the blaze after being alerted at just before 11.20pm on last night.

"The fire has had a good grip of this building and it's extensively damaged it", he said, while also acknowledging the city's "emotional attachment" to the site.

It said: "There is a fire at the Mackintosh Building".

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was heartbroken by the fire, tweeting: "This is clearly an extremely serious situation".

Paul Sweeney, a Glasgow MP, said on Twitter: "Devastated that a major fire has broken out at the Glasgow School of Art tonight".

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Scottish Fire and Rescue Service deputy assistant Peter Heath said the "extensive" fire affected all the floors of the building, including those that were being restored in a multi-million pound effort to reclaim its former glory.

Asked if any of the restoration work had been destroyed, Mr Heath replied: "I would say, given the extent of the fire, that would be a fair comment". "The best we can probably hope for is structural facade retention and a complete rebuild of the interior".

Crews were called to the building in the city centre at around 11.20pm on Friday and were met with "extremely hard conditions", he said.

It has been described as "a working art school as well as a work of art", and has an A-list rating from Historic Scotland.

"Scotland Fire and Rescue are doing everything they can to salvage the most architecturally important building in Glasgow".

The landmark building had been due to reopen next year after restoration.

Others include Doctor Who actor Peter Capaldi, Harry Potter and James Bond movie actor Robbie Coltrane, and members from the Scottish rock bands Travis and Franz Ferdinand.

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