LONDON: A large blaze ripped through an architecturally important building at the Glasgow School of Art late Friday, the second time in four years that fire has damaged the famed Scottish school.
More than 60 firefighters were battling the blaze, and images posted on social media showed flames and smoke billowing from the roof of the Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh Building.
“There is a fire at the Mackintosh Building,” the art school tweeted. “The fire brigade are currently on scene.”
Fire ravaged the building in May 2014, and an expensive restoration project had been returning it to its former glory. The building was designed by artist and architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh and built between 1897 and 1909.
“Devastated that a major fire has broken out at the Glasgow School of Art tonight,” Shadow Scottish minister Paul Sweeney tweeted, calling the Mackintosh “the most architecturally important building in Glasgow.”
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was heartbroken by Friday’s fire, tweeting “This is clearly an extremely serious situation. My first thoughts tonight are for the safety of people — but my heart also breaks for Glasgow’s beloved @GSofA.”
Witness Aidan Dick said the fire and smoke grew in intensity “in the space of a few minutes.”
A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service reported that it was not aware of any casualties. It said the call about the fire came in at 11: 19 p.m. Friday local time.
A number of roads around the art school were closed while crews tackle the blaze.