Liverpool: Large blaze causes huge plumes of smoke over city

13 minutes ago
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Watch: Footage shows huge fire engulfing building in Liverpool’s city centre

A fire in a four-storey building near a city centre is no longer being considered a “major incident”, firefighters have said.

“Successful firefighting tactics have resulted in the fire being greatly reduced,” Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service (MFRS) said.

The incident has been scaled down and crews are now dealing with hot spots and small pockets of fire.

Locals who were evacuated earlier are being allowed to return to their homes.

Residents were warned to continue to keep doors and windows shut.

Twelve fire engines rushed to Fox Street in Liverpool after the blaze broke out at about 14:20 GMT.

MFRS said there had been no reports of casualties and more than 50 firefighters attended the blaze at its height.

Crowds watched smoke rise above Liverpool city centre

Nearby roads were temporarily closed by police but Great Homer Street has now been reopened for vehicle access.

Everton resident Michael Pearson said abandoned buildings in the area had been a source of concern for locals.

He described the fire as an “awful situation that potentially could have been avoided,” adding: “To see it go up in flames is quite shocking but actually I think that people who live in the Everton area may not be that surprised.”

The smoke could be seen over Goodison Park as Everton prepared to play Luton Town in the FA Cup
A passenger in a passing car captured the extent of the blaze

MFRS had earlier declared the fire a major incident and said it had been “divided into four sectors, with ground monitor main branch hoses, multiple main branch hoses and a combined platform ladder in use”.

It said Merseyside Police were assisting with the evacuations and a cordon was in place around the building and the wider area.

People were warned to avoid the area and local residents have been told to shut windows and doors.

Huge plumes of smoke could be seen across the city, including over Goodison Park during Everton’s FA Cup tie against Luton Town, as well as from across the River Mersey in Wirral.

The smoke filled the sky over the city
The plumes could also be seen from across the River Mersey in Birkenhead

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