Huge blaze engulfs four-storey building in major incident as structure now 'close to collapse'

27 January 2024, 16:55 | Updated: 27 January 2024, 17:40

The fire looks set to collapse the building
The fire looks set to collapse the building. Picture: X via @henryjgriffin/@CollyRetro

By Chay Quinn

Huge plumes of smoke are billowing across Liverpool after a building under construction which is now close to collapse caught fire in a massive blaze.

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Firefighters were called to blaze on Fox Street, Liverpool at 2.18pm on Saturday and arrived to find a four-storey building measuring 100 metres by 50 metres "well alight".

The fire was declared a major incident at 4pm.

Social media footage showed smoke billowing across Merseyside as fire crews are still working to tackle the blaze.

The building is now showing signs of collapse and buildings are being evacuated nearby, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service confirmed.

The fire service is urging people to avoid the area and nearby residents and businesses to close windows and doors.

A statement on Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service's website says: "Fire crews have been called to a large fire on Fox Street, Liverpool City Centre, L3.

"12 fire engines and two aerial appliances are in attendance. Crews were alerted at 2.18pm and on scene at 2.23pm.

"Crews arrived to find a four storey building 100 metres x 50 metres well alight.

"The incident has been divided into sectors, with firefighters wearing breathing apparatus fighting the fire with main branch hoses.

"The building is showing signs of collapse and fire crews are evacuating buildings.

"The incident is ongoing. Please avoid the area. Residents and businesses nearby should close windows and doors.

"If you have an existing health condition, keep medicines nearby and if any ill effects occur dial NHS 111 for advice."

At 5.30pm, the fire crews released a statement reading: “The incident is no longer classed as a major incident and successful firefighting tactics have resulted in the fire being greatly reduced, with the main body of fire now extinguished. Great Homer Street has been reopened for vehicle access.”