Crews remain at scene of major fire in Inverness city centre

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Five appliances, two aerial platforms and support vehicles attended the fire in the building above M & Co in Academy Street last night

Fire Inverness M And Co

Pic courtesy of Jamie MacDonald from @netsounds

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service remain at the scene of a major building fire in the city centre of Inverness.

Crews were called out to respond to a fire in the roof of the M & Co building in the city’s Academy Street at 10.02pm last night (15 April 2015).

Two pumps from Inverness, one from Dingwall, one from Fortrose and fifth from Nairn were sent to the scene. They were supplemented by aerial rescue platform (ARP) from Inverness and a supporting pump and the ARP from Aberdeen, which also had a supporting pump. There was also an Incident Support Vehicle and a water carrier from Inverness.

The fire in the two storey building was well-developed when firefighters arrived and at the height of the fire crews were using six main jets, two hose reel jets and the aerial rescue platforms were being used as water towers to attack the fire from above.

A water relay from the River Ness was also set up. Crews ensured all buildings in the vicinity were evacuated. Firefighters in breathing apparatus also entered the premises of Sports Direct and the Exchange public house with thermal imaging cameras to assess whether or not there was any damage to these adjoining buildings.

Crews worked tirelessly through the night to ensure the fire damage was contained to the part of the building which housed M & Co and R and D Hair and Beauty.

There are still three appliances from Inverness at the scene, along with the Incident Command Vehicle and Inverness’s aerial platform. A main jet was still being used to dampen down this morning.

The Fire Investigation Unit is due to attend the scene and will be working closely with partners at Police Scotland to establish the cause of the fire in due course.

Group Manager Dave Leishman, who has been at the scene all night, said: "The fire was well-developed when we arrived. We have successfully managed to contain it to the immediate property and stopped it spreading to the surrounding premises.

"Fire crews did an excellent job and operated in very arduous conditions to gain control of the incident. We worked closely in partnership with Police Scotland, Scottish Ambulance Service, Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) and Scottish Water, who all provided crucial assistance at the incident ground.

"I would also like to thank the staff at Wetherspoons public house and the Pentahotel for very kindly providing refreshments for the crews during the incident."

He added: "An investigation into the cause will be carried out along with our partners at Police Scotland when the premises has been deemed safe to enter."