June 16, 2018
A fire has devastated the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland for the second time in four years.
Fire ravages Glasgow School of Arts Mackintosh building -- again
More than 120 firefighters were battling the blaze Saturday morning, which has swept through the art school's Mackintosh Building and is spreading to adjoining buildings, including a nightclub.
The alarm was raised at about 11:20 p.m. local time on Friday, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said in a statement.
Deputy Chief Officer Iain Bushell said it was "an extremely challenging and complex incident" that would take time to bring under control. No casualties have been reported.
"The fire has taken hold several properties including the 02 ABC nightclub causing extensive damage," Bushell said.
"This will be a prolonged incident and crews will remain on the scene as they work to prevent further fire spread and damage."
The Mackintosh Building -- designed by the famed Scottish art nouveau architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh -- was badly damaged by fire in May 2014 and had been undergoing extensive renovation work since. It had been expected to reopen next year.
Fire ravages Glasgow School of Arts Mackintosh building -- again
Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, tweeted her relief that people were safe but said her heart was also breaking for Glasgow's "beloved" School of Art.
Paul Sweeney, the member of Parliament for Glasgow North East, tweeted that he was devastated by the blaze. Scottish Fire and Rescue are "doing everything they can to salvage the most architecturally important building in Glasgow," he said.
He said in another tweet: "A major reason the 2014 Glasgow School of Art fire spread so rapidly was because of the horizontal and vertical timber-lined air ducts that run through the building. I wouldn't be surprised if the same ducts have exacerbated the rapid and comprehensive spread of the fire tonight."
As the fire spread, Sweeney, a former shipbuilder who describes himself a Glasgow architecture geek on his Twitter page, added that "the best we can probably hope for is structural façade retention and a complete rebuild of the interior."
Nearby buildings that could be at risk from the fire have been evacuated, the fire service said. People living in the area are urged to stay indoors and keep their windows closed.
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