LONDON – The historic Glasgow School of Art in Scotland has been ravaged by a fire, just four years after it was devastated by another blaze.
Images posted on social media on Friday showed flames and smoke billowing from the roof of the Glasgow School of Art's Mackintosh Building.
Flames and smoke slowed efforts by more than 120 firefighters to put out the blaze that started late Friday night.
Extensive damage was reported at a nearby nightclub as well while the fire also spread to neighboring properties, leading to several evacuations.
The school tweeted: "There is a fire at the Mackintosh Building. The fire brigade are currently on scene. We will report back with news updates as soon as possible."
Fire ravaged the building in May 2014, and a restoration project had been returning the art school to its former glory.
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service deputy assistant Peter Heath said the fire was “extensive” and affected every floor of the building, including those that were being restored. There were no immediate reports of casualties.
Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, said she was heartbroken by the 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."
She later wrote: "Such a sad morning in Glasgow. So relieved that there has been no loss of life. And so full of admiration and gratitude for @fire_scot. But it is hard to find words to convey the utter devastation felt here and around the world for the iconic Mackintosh building"
Paul Sweeney, the shadow Scottish minister, tweeted: “Devastated that a major fire has broken out at the Glasgow School of Art tonight," adding that it was "the most architecturally important building in Glasgow."
Scottish Secretary David Mundell said the UK government "stands ready to help" deal with the aftermath of the fire at the building.
The Glasgow School of Art is one of Scotland’s most treasured buildings.
It was designed by celebrated Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh and built between 1897 and 1909.
Officials said Saturday morning the fire was not completely out but was under control, and latest television footage showed firefighters continuing to spray jets of water at the building to try and prevent further damage.
The cause was not immediately clear.
Flames and smoke slowed efforts by more than 120 firefighters to put out the blaze that started late Friday night. Extensive damage was reported at a nearby nightclub as well.
The landmark building had been due to reopen next year after restoration following the 2014 fire.