Glasgow School of Art may be beyond fix after second fire

Firefighters put ladders against the building to douse from close range while others used at least six high-pressure hoses to spray from farther range

The school's Mackintosh building was severely damaged by another fire just four years ago and was still being repaired.

Worldwide shock and disbelief greeted the news of the fire, which began at about 11.20pm on Friday and grew quickly in intensity, spreading to the neighbouring Campus nightclub and the O2 ABC music venue, which also suffered extensive damage.

Over 150 firefighters were sent to the scene to extinguish the massive fire.

Efforts to bring the fire under control are expected to be "prolonged", Deputy Chief Officer Iain Bushell said.

The Mackintosh building, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and built between 1897 and 1909, was severely damaged by a large fire in May 2014.

The fire broke out late on Friday night, when the city centre was full of people enjoying a night out. "Whilst the fire in "the Mack" is devastating news, The Glasgow School of Art's immediate focus is on our students, and on the continuing operation of the GSA to ensure minimum disruption to students and staff", the statement provides.

Nearby buildings that could be at risk from the fire have been evacuated as a precaution, the fire service said. Jane Sutherland, who graduated from the art school in 1982 and is chair of the local arts council, watched the flames from her nearby apartment.

A firefighting official said that the historic building of the school was extensively damaged in the incident, however, there are no reports about causalities and injuries.

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More than 120 firefighters fought the blaze all night.

"It is hard to find words to convey the utter devastation felt here and around the world for the iconic Mackintosh building", she said.

GSA director Professor Tom Inns said the fire was a "horrible accident" and a review would seek to learn lessons from it.

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

Glasgow-born architect and designer Mackintosh (1868-1928) was a leading exponent of Art Nouveau, whose distinctive lines and lettering remain influential.

Many deplored what they called the cruel irony of the fire coming hours after a giant mural depicting Charles Rennie Mackintosh was unveiled elsewhere in Glasgow.

It features a portrait of Mackintosh looking through a stained-glass window featuring some of his designs.

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