Breaking… more to follow (for further updated story click here).
Firefighters are battling a huge fire in the heart of Manchester’s bustling Northern Quarter tonight – as a former drapery store is ablaze.
Huge plumes of smoke are billowing out from Mr Ryan’s World Famous Second Hand store on Oldham Street, while crowds stand watching in shock.
Fire crews are on scene with water jets and MM believe they have just gained access to the building after being unable to tackle the flames due to the shop’s shutters being down.
Police have tweeted urging all residents in the vicinity of Spear Street/Oldham Street to keep doors and windows closed as a precautionary measure.
Video footage taken by worried onlookers shows smoke pouring from the upper windows and fire crews attempting to gain access via the back entrance.
Six fire engines and an aerial appliance were called to Warwick Street in Northern Quarter, which is at the rear of the building, at 6pm this evening.
The building is now thought to be derelict.
One Northern Quarter resident, Sarah Unwin, tweeted: “Where exactly is that on the street? I don’t recognise it! My flat is connected to buildings on Oldham St so i’m a little nervous.”
The former drapery store is only a few buildings down from nightspot favourite The Castle, and the street is also home to world-famous Affleck’s Palace.
ABLAZE: Smoke pours from windows on rear of the second hand store
Picture courtesy of Sam Easterby-Smith (@samscam), with thanks.
UNDER CONTROL: Firefighters tackle the blaze using an aerial lift
Photo courtesy of Tom Clarke (@Visuals0und) , with thanks.
Video courtesy of Adam Fairclough, with thanks.