Fears people trapped inside Newcastle print shop as 55 firefighters tackle huge blaze
Published 01/12/2015 | 14:30
People may be trapped above a "severe" city centre fire, a brigade spokesman has said.
The alarm was raised at 8.48am about a blaze at a shop in Cross Street, Newcastle.
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service said there were three floors above.
Over 55 firefighters on 11 appliances plus two Aerial Ladder Platforms were on the scene.
A spokesman said: "It is understood that there may be people on the upper floors of the building."
Assistant Chief Fire Officer John Baines said the fire was "severe".
He said: "I'd ask members of the public to avoid the area for the time being.
"We understand this will cause some congestion in the city centre and would like to thank the public for their patience as we deal with the incident."
The fire has been brought under control and the building will be assessed, a service spokesman said.
Structural experts will check it is safe for firefighters to go into the building to check if there were any casualties.
Fire crews on aerial ladders continued to shoot jets of water into the building, seven hours after the blaze started.
A strong smell of smoke could be detected in the area where dozens of people gathered behind the police cordons to watch the scene.
One couple even took of a selfie of themselves in front of the working firefighters.