Firefighters are continuing to fight a major blaze at the A-listed Glasgow School of Art – one of Scotland’s most iconic buildings.
Eyewitnesses said the fire appeared to have started when a projector exploded in the basement of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh building just before 12:30.
The roof space of the art school is still well alight. It is feared large parts have been destroyed.
Everyone in the building was said to have escaped safely.
There have been no reports of any casualties.
Final year students were said to have been preparing for their end of year degree show in the building when the blaze broke out. The deadline for submissions to the degree was 17:00.
Police have cordoned off Renfrew Street, and smoke was also drifting across the M8. Large crowds of students and onlookers gathered near the scene, with several people in tears as they watched the events unfold.
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Hugh Thornhill, a second year student, said: “I was helping one of the fourth years set up their exhibit and suddenly the alarm went off.
“We didn’t think it was anything but we had to go out and then we saw smoke coming out and realised that it was really bad. It got to the point where flames were coming out of the top floor.
“All that effort is gone, everyone’s work on that side of the building is ruined. Even if it didn’t catch fire it will be damaged extensively.
“The degree show next month is pretty much a bust now, it’s sad.”
Broadcaster Muriel Gray, a former student and current chairwoman of the school, arrived and burst into tears when she saw the building in flames.
Ms Gray told BBC Scotland she was “heartbroken” to see the “most amazing building in Glasgow” go up in flames.
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“Quite apart from it being voted the best building of the last 175 years, it is a major tourist draw and has an incredible reputation as an art school. This is really terrible.”
Charles Rennie Mackintosh is lauded as Scotland’s most influential architect and designer, with the art school building which bears his name considered by many to be his greatest masterpiece.
Mackintosh was a 28-year-old junior draughtsman at a Glasgow architecture firm when he drew up the designs for the building, which features distinctive heavy sandstone walls and large windows.
The dramatic art nouveau design took about 12 years to be completed, opening in 1909, but it signalled the birth of a new style in 20th Century European architecture.
The president of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland, Iain Connelly, said the value of the building “goes well beyond Glasgow or even Scotland”.
He added: “It is a work of architectural heritage of world renown and its influence on 20th century architecture is immeasurable. Scotland has seen the loss of an international treasure which reflects the genius of one of our greatest ever architects.”
This tip came from regular TPV visitor Catherine, who writes, “[W]e are heartbroken here. Hard to describe what this iconic building means to us in Scotland, and all I can think about is the library that was full of irreplaceable books and Charles Rennie Mackintosh furniture. Fortunately, nobody was hurt which is a blessing. But for the rest, we feel sick and sad. “