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More than 100 firefighters tackle huge blaze in Glasgow city centre

The fire started at the old Co-op Funeral Service building near the River Clyde on Monday afternoon.

Fire: The blaze started near the Co-op on Monday afternoon.

More than 100 firefighters have been tackling a huge blaze in Glasgow which sent smoke billowing across the city.

The fire broke out at the derelict former Co-op Funeral Service building in Morrison Street, Tradeston, near the River Clyde, at around 1.50pm on Monday.

The fire began in the first and third floors of the B-listed building, which is currently empty and up for sale. It spread from the rear to the front of the structure, causing the roof to collapse.

Smoke and flames could be seen drifting across the M8 at the Kingston Bridge, which is one of Europe's busiest road bridges.

Thick clouds of black smoke could be seen drifting across the river as traffic on the M8 slowed to a crawl. Smoke from the fire was visible across the city centre.

Around 60 flats at neighbouring properties were evacuated and Glasgow City Council's Centenary House was also cleared.

The council set up a centre at Scotland Street School for residents evacuated from their homes.

Sixteen fire engines were at the scene of the fire at its height, while four aerial platforms were brought in to tackle the flames at the rear of the building.

Brian Sweeney, chief officer of Strathclyde Fire and Rescue, said: "This was a very challenging fire in one of Glasgow's most iconic buildings.

"Firefighters have now brought the blaze under control and operations will continue through into tomorrow morning.

"More than 100 firefighters attended this incident and I am hugely proud of their courage, determination and skill, which had prevented this fire from spreading to other buildings in the historic heart of the city."

Road diversions

The M74 southbound slip at junction one to Paisley Road West was closed due to the smoke from the fire, while motorists on the M8 at Charing Cross have been warned to expect queues due to the blaze that has gutted the Gusset Building, which is owned by the Co-operative Society.

An emergency services helicopter was sent out to monitor the blaze that ripped through the four-storey structure.

Strathclyde Fire and Rescue confirmed no one has been reported injured in the fire, while the Scottish Ambulance Service do not have any ambulances in attendance.

Strathclyde Police said there are no plans to close Kingston Bridge due to the smoke, however speed restrictions have been put in place.

Residents of 220 Wallace Street, which runs parallel to Morrison Street, were asked to remain within their homes due to the fire.

Glasgow City Council also said it was experiencing problems with its switchboard due to the blaze.

Gusset Building

Several routes around the fire are being affected by the smoke with traffic heading west on Paisley Road being diverted at Seaward Street.

The Gusset Building was put up for sale in 2007 by Lambert Smith Hampton, with the sellers stating that it could be converted into 75 luxury apartments.

It was built in 1876 as a warehouse for the Co-op and was named the Gusset Building because it sits in the wedge formed by the intersection of Morrison Street and Paisley Road.

It was eventually used for the publication of the Co-op’s in-house magazine and funeral business.

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