Firefighters were continuing to battle a huge blaze at the famous Littlewoods Building in Liverpool on Monday.
The iconic building – known for its Art-Deco architecture and striking clock tower – was hit by fire across a large area on Sunday evening, though officials said later that there were no concerns over the structure’s integrity.
The fire service was first alerted at 7.52pm and were on scene within four minutes, but found the roof of the five-storey building well alight.
Crews using breathing apparatus entered the building to tackle the fire, and two main jets were used to douse the flames from the outside.
There were no reports of injuries.
The building, on Edge Lane, Liverpool, was built in 1938 and was part of the football pool’s coupons arm of the Littlewoods empire, built up by self-made tycoon Sir John Moores.
It had stood empty since 2003, and a series of redevelopment plans had fallen through.
But the building had recently been sold with a plan to redevelop the site to become a major film and television studio hub, creating 350 jobs.
Twickenham Studios has signed a deal with developer Capital & Centric to create a £50m northern base at the site.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson tweeted: “Absolutely heartbreaking news that the iconic Littlewoods Building is ablaze, looks pretty bad at this stage, let’s hope and pray its salvageable.”
A police cordon is in place and the the fire service say the incident is ongoing.
Meanwhile the Fire Service tweeted in the early hours of Monday: “Firefighting continues on Edge Lane. 2nd multi agency meeting has taken place with @MerseyPolice, @SPEnergyNetwork, @lpoolcouncil & building owners. There are no concerns at this time over the integrity of the structure.”