'Pockets of fire remain' at Glasgow School of Art

17 June 2018, 11:30 | Updated: 17 June 2018, 11:34

Glasgow fire

Firefighters are using thermal imaging cameras to identify any remaining hot spots at the scene of the fire that has gutted Glasgow's world-renowned School of Art.

About 50 firefighters remain at the scene after working through the night to extinguish the blaze, which broke out on Friday night.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) said a few pockets of fire remained at the site of the blaze, which included the Charles Rennie Mackintosh building as well as the popular music venue the O2 ABC.

Group manager Martin Hill said: "This has clearly been a protracted incident and today we are still very much in a firefighting phase.

"Our firefighters have been working effectively throughout the night and we are continuing to dampen down any remaining pockets of fire.

"We are also using thermal imaging cameras to identify any hidden hot spots and will continue, working alongside partners, to assess our priorities and our tactical firefighting operation over the course of the day.

"We will remain on the scene for as long as it takes - we are absolutely committed to preventing any further damage to surrounding properties and ensuring the area is made safe.

"I would like to express a sincere thankyou to our crews on the ground and our firefighters in operations control for continuing to effectively co-ordinate our resources as well as our partners along with the wider community."

SFRS has said it is too early to determine the cause of the fire.

The fire was the second in four years to hit the Mackintosh Building, which was undergoing a multimillion-pound restoration project to return it to its former glory.

There have been calls for a public inquiry into the latest blaze amid claims that a sprinkler system in the building was not yet operational.

The Holyrood and Westminster governments have said they stand ready to provide support, including financially, to the art school as it assesses what the future may hold.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon led Glaswegians, former students and public figures in expressing their shock and dismay at the disaster as she visited the site on Saturday.

Ms Sturgeon said: "The Scottish Government stands ready to do anything we reasonably can to help ensure that the building has a future.

"It's too early to say what that might entail or what that might look like.

"We don't know yet what the structural condition of the building is. It's simply too early to give definitive answers but I'm determined, as we were after the fire four years ago, that the Scottish Government will do everything it possibly can."