Famed Glasgow art school ravaged by fire again

Flames rise from the Glasgow School of Art's Mackintosh Building in London, early Saturday, June 16, 2018. A large blaze ripped through the building at the Glasgow School of Art late Friday, the second time in four years that fire has damaged the famed Scottish school. (Douglas Barrie/PA via AP)
Flames rise from the Glasgow School of Art's Mackintosh Building in London, early Saturday, June 16, 2018. A large blaze ripped through the building at the Glasgow School of Art late Friday, the second time in four years that fire has damaged the famed Scottish school. (Douglas Barrie/PA via AP)

LONDON — A large blaze ripped through an architecturally important building at the Glasgow School of Art, the second time in four years that fire has damaged the famed Scottish school.

More than 60 firefighters were battling the blaze early Saturday morning, and images posted on social media showed flames and smoke billowing from the roof of the Glasgow School of Art's Mackintosh Building.

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 @GSofA."

Fire ravaged the building in May 2014, and an expensive restoration project had been returning it to its former glory. The building was designed by artist and architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh and built between 1897 and 1909.

"Devastated that a major fire has broken out at the Glasgow School of Art tonight," Shadow Scottish minister Paul Sweeney tweeted, calling the Mackintosh "the most architecturally important building in Glasgow."

The Scottish fire and rescue service said the call about the fire came in at 11: 19 p.m. Friday local time and that there were no immediate reports of casualties. The cause of the blaze was not immediately clear.

A number of roads around the art school were closed while crews tackled the blaze.

Connor Neil, a 22-year-old chef from Glasgow, said people were being evacuated from their homes and there was a "big orange light" coming from the school that could be seen from streets away.

"We've got just to the top of Renfrew Street and police closed off the road," Neil said.

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