A fire at Glasgow School of Art is being tackled by fire crews in Glasgow city centre.
The fire is reported to have broken out in the basement of Renfrew Street’s A-listed Charles Rennie Mackintosh building shortly after noon before burning up to the top of the West Wing, with styrofoam reportedly catching fire and adding to the blaze.
Smoke blowing through the broken windows is covering nearby Sauchiehall Street and even moving across the M8 motorway.
Students have been evacuated and the Glasgow School of Art are in the process of setting up an emergency incident number.
The School said that everybody had been evacuated, tweeting: “Everyone safe & evacuated. On behalf of staff and students, thank you to all who have expressed concern over Twitter. Updates as they come.” This tweet has, however, since been deleted from the @GSofA account.
Today is the final deadline for degree show hand-ins and the fine art department has, therefore, just installed their last year’s work in the building over the last week.
Students have already responded to the fire on social media.
Stacey Wallace said: “Heartbreaking to hear about the fire at the Glasgow School of Art! It was such a beautiful building.”
Chloe Smart added: “All the degree shows are set up in the mackintosh building and it’s on fire. I would be absolutely heartbroken.”
BBC presenter and former Glasgow Guardian editor Andrew Neil commented: “This is a NATIONAL tragedy. A UK cultural treasure is on fire. So sad.”
Mackintosh’s work is regarded as one of the most iconic pieces of Scottish architecture. The building took 12 years to be completed, opening in 1909.
The School of Art’s new £50 million Reid Building, opened last month by Robbie Coltrane, is not believed to be damaged.
Meanwhile, firefighters in Dundee have tackled a fire at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design. The fire started at around 1pm – an hour after the Glasgow School of Art fire – and was extinguished by 1.30pm with no reports of injuries.