- Copyright: Getty Images
A massive fire has devastated Glasgow's famous art school building for the second time in four years.
- Firefighters were called to the celebrated Mackintosh building at about 23:20 on Friday.
- The fire was already "well-developed"
- At one point 120 firefighters and 20 fire engines were at the scene
- Firefighters used water from the River Clyde to tackle the blaze
- Fire crews were brought from as far away as Perth and West Lothian
- Fire service area manager David Young said the building was in a "poor state" with extensive damage to the roof, the floors and the interiors
- Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the fire was "heart-breaking"
- Ms Sturgeon said the damage was far worse than four years ago and the building was "just a shell"
- She promised the Scottish government would do all it could to help
- Fire chiefs said they could not say how or where the fire started
- Neighbouring buildings including the ABC music venue have also been damaged
Like many people, I assumed it was a social media blip, a rerun of images and news from the fire at Glasgow School of Art in 2014.
But like so many people, I realised with horror, that this was a new fire, four years on from the one which devastated the east wing of the Mack, and destroyed the iconic library.Copyright: Getty Images
"My heart is breaking" tweeted the artist Alison Watt, beneath a picture of the blazing building.
And for so many people, whether staff or students, tourists or passers-by, that was the overwhelming sentiment.
"I hoped I'd got it wrong, and would waken it up realising it was all just a horrible dream," said Stuart Robertson, director of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society.
What makes the fire so cruel is that it comes in the midst of Mackintosh150, a celebration of the artist, architect and designer.
The body which provides funding for Scotland's universities and colleges, the Scottish Funding Council, says it has been in touch with the Glasgow School of Art following the devastating fire overnight.
John Kemp, SFC’s interim chief executive, said, “This is terrible news. Our thoughts are with the staff and students.
"The Scottish Funding Council will work closely with Glasgow School of Art and the Scottish Government to identify and help provide the necessary support”.
The devastating Art School fire is the latest to occur in a small part of Glasgow which has witnessed some of Scotland's most dramatic blazes.
Two factory tragedies in the 1960s led to it being dubbed the "Tinderbox City".
This century the roll call of major incidents include fires which destroyed two nightclubs.Copyright: Getty Images
Renowned architect Prof Alan Dunlop, who was trained at Glasgow School of Art, said he could not believe such a devastating fire could happen again.
"It looks like a scene from World War Two in some of the aerial and drone footage," he said.
"The interior looks like it is gutted.
"It is a stone building so the masonry seems to be standing. Whether or not that is sustainable is for another day but it looks like the interior is gutted.
"The building looks completely devastated."
- Copyright: Getty Images
- 23 May 2014: Fire breaks out at Glasgow School of Art
- 25 May 2014: Confirmation that library was destroyed
- 18 June 2014: A star-studded fundraising campaign
- 26 November 2014: Investigation reveals cause of fire
- 21 April 2016: Campus expansion announced
- 28 June 2016: Kier Construction awarded restoration contract
- September 2017: Restoration is well under way
- 15 June 2018: Fire engulfs Glasgow School of Art again
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service incident commander at the scene of the Glasgow School of Art fire said the building was in a poor state.
Area manager David Young said firefighters were continuing to extinguish a few pockets of fire but it was a "very difficult job".
He said the focus was on fighting the fire and he would not speculate on where or how the fire started.Copyright: BBC
"Damage inside is quite considerable," he said.
"Colleagues who were at the fire four years ago said it was less devastating than it is now.
"Damage is from one end of the building to the other. The roof is damaged and the floors. The building is in a poor state."
Mr Young said the fire was well-developed when firefighters arrived late on Friday evening.
He said crews had been brought in from as far away as Perth and West Lothian to tackle the blaze.
The fire officer said an investigation had started but forensic crews had not been able to access the building because it was not yet safe.
- Copyright: BBC
Scottish Fire and Rescue area manager David Young was the incident commander at Glasgow School of Art.
He told a media conference that fire crews werre called out at 23:20 on Friday night.
"At its height we had 120 firefighters on scene and at the moment that has been scaled back to around about 50," he said.
He said they were still firefighting and were working on four different parts of the building.
He said they were concentrating on extinguishing the fire completely at the school of art and the adjacent buildings.
Hundreds of people were evacuated from the area around the fire in Glasgow city centre overnight.
On Saturday, roads remain closed and dozen of businesses are shut due to the police cordons in place.
Oye Adedeji, who runs the Wingerz takeaway on Sauchiehall Street, told BBC Scotland he had been allowed to open the shop but that customers were unable to get access.Copyright: BBC
"It's going to be a very difficult couple of weeks for us," he said.
"Today is Saturday and meant to be a very busy day. It couldn't have come at a worse time with the World Cup, we were meant to be very busy.
"It is very sad."
"We are liaising closely with SFRS, with Kier Construction Scotland (the Mackintosh Building contractors) and both the Scottish and UK Governments. SFRS investigations are ongoing and we are awaiting their outcome.
"The Mackintosh Building has been undergoing a period of extensive restoration following the fire in 2014 and therefore has not been a part of the GSA's operational campus for four years.
"Whilst the fire in 'the Mack' is devastating news, The Glasgow School of Art's immediate focus is on our students, and on the continuing operation of the GSA to ensure minimum disruption to students and staff."Copyright: MCATEER PHOTOGRAPH
The statement continued: "The GSA and all of its buildings will remain closed for the next week, and we will provide updates as and when information is available.
"We hugely appreciate the messages of support and offers of help that we have received from around the world."
Firefighters have been tackling fresh smoke coming from the Campus Club on Sauchiehall Street, which adjoins the Mackintosh building at the Glasgow School of Art.
A source at Glasgow City Council said the firefighters were dealing with the smoke within seconds of it emerging. The fresh smoke now looks to be under control.Copyright: PA
Speaking at the scene, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it was too early to speculate on the cause of the fire.
She said fire teams had begun their investigation and she had no idea how long that would take.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the focus of the tragedy was the historic and iconic Mackintosh school of art but she also expressed sympathy for the impact on the O2 ABC music venue whose domed roof collapsed in the fire.
"Again it is too early to speculate about what the future might hold," she said.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon praised the firefighters for the speed of their response and gave thanks that there was no loss of life.
She said there was no information on what started the fire so it was not the time to speculate.Copyright: pa
Ms Sturgeon said: "The Scottish government stands ready to help to do anything reasonable to ensure the building has a future but it is too early to say what that might entail."
The first minister said she was not an expert, but just looking at it she could tell it had been totally devastated.
"It is just a shell," she said.
"It has clearly been a fire of much greater intensity than the one that took hold four years ago.
"It is hard to find the words to describe what it looks like to look at such an iconic building."