Large fire damages Manchester city centre CWS building

Manchester fire Image copyright Ian Cumming

A seven-storey building in Manchester city centre has been damaged in a large fire.

About 50 firefighters were called to the former CWS building, next to the Printworks near Victoria railway station.

Plumes of smoke were seen across the city after it was reported just before 17:30 BST.

The operation has since been "scaled down", Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue (GMFR) service said.

A spokesperson added that crews were expected to remain at the scene overnight.

Tram services were halted in the area and electricity supplies were isolated as a precaution. There were no reports of any injuries.

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Media captionGreater Manchester Fire and Rescue drone footage
Image copyright Twitter/@Stephie_B
Image caption Billowing smoke could be seen by passengers on a plane landing at Manchester airport
Image copyright Iain Lindley
Image copyright Ian Cumming

The building is on the corner of Hanover Street and Dantzic Street.

GMFR Incident Commander Paul Etches said firefighters had done a "fantastic job" tackling the fire which was "challenging".

He said he hoped trams would be "back to normality" by Tuesday morning.

'Quite frightening'

Some roads in the area remain closed.

GMFR earlier said on Twitter: "Firefighters trying to prevent the fire spreading.

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Media captionVideo by Michael Anyfantakis

"Our air unit is really helping us fight this fire. Please avoid the area."

Eyewitness Peter Wilcox said: "Smoke has been billowing up for an hour or so, clouds of black smoke have gathered over the Victoria station area.

"We've had various fires over that part of Manchester over the years but this is quite frightening to see it in the central area."

The building is part of the £800m NOMA project which aims to transform a 20-acre site around the city's Victoria railway station with new housing, offices, entertainment premises and shops.

NOMA tweeted: Fire Crews onsite. We can confirm the building is vacant and everybody accounted for.

Image copyright @wUK_urbex
Image copyright Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue
Image copyright Richard Pengelly
Image copyright Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue
Image caption Firefighters monitored the blaze from above with use of an air unit

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