Glasgow School of Art fire: Firefighters battle blaze at historic Mackintosh Building

Cheryl Sanders
June 16, 2018

Flames and smoke engulfed one of Scotland's architectural gems, the Mackintosh building at the Glasgow School of Art, for the second time in four years, the Scottish fire service said on Saturday.

A restoration project, which was set to cost between £20m and £35m, had been returning the famous art school to its former glory after a devastating fire in 2014, with Brad Pitt and Peter Capaldi among those lending support, Independent reported.

Iain Bushell, deputy chief officer for Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, told the broadcaster that efforts to bring the fire under control are expected to be "prolonged", and firefighters were facing "an extremely challenging and complex incident".

'There is a fire at the Mackintosh Building.

Fire took hold of the Glasgow School of Art building in May 2014 in the run-up to the students' degree show, and graduation ceremonies had taken place at the institution earlier on Friday.

The school has been undergoing renovations since the previous fire in May 2014.

The fire "has reached from the ground floor right through to the roof", he said.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon 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 [School of Art]".

He said: "Devastated that a major fire has broken out at the Glasgow School of Art tonight".

Asked if any of the restoration work had been destroyed, he said: "Given the extent of the fire, that would be a fair comment".

It has been described as "a working art school as well as a work of art", and has an A-list rating from Historic Scotland.

He said the government "stands ready to help, financially or otherwise".

The landmark building had been due to reopen next year after restoration.

The flammable gases from a foam canister caught fire when they came into contact with the electrical equipment as work was being carried out on a nearby art installation.

There were no immediate reports of casualties but the fire devastated one of Glasgow's most treasured buildings, designed by celebrated Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh and built between 1897 and 1909.

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