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VIDEO & GALLERY: Albert Square Fire - As It Happened

Buildings evacuated as ten fire crews tackle blaze at Carlton House by the Town Hall

Written by . Published on January 13th 2015.

VIDEO & GALLERY: Albert Square Fire - As It Happened

FIREFIGHTERS from ten fire crews have today tackled a blaze at Albert Square's Carlton House right by Manchester Town Hall.

"When the crews went inside to tackle the blaze they found the fire had spread through a duct in the building"

The fire - which emergency services say started in the basement kitchen of Rajdoot Indian restaurant - began around midday.

Police cordoned off much of Albert Square and Mount Street as up to 50 firefights battled against smoke billowing from the roof of Clegg & Knowles beautiful Carlton House building (completed in 1872).

Carlton House - nestled between Albert Square Chop House and George Redmayne's St Andrew's Chambers (1872) on the corner of Mount Street - also houses Tampopo pan-asian restaurant and offices.

Firefighters focussed their attention and hoses around the back of the building on County Street - where the blaze from Rajdoot's kitchen was emanating.

Smoke fills Albert SquareSmoke fills Albert Square

Smoke billows from the back of Carlton HouseFirefighters tackle blaze from the back of Carlton House on County Street

Buildings including offices on Central Street, Velvet Central bar and the popular Bowler's Cafe were evacuated by emergency services as the fire worsened.

Firefighters eventually extinguished the fire by around 3.30pm.

Fire service incident officer, Warren Pickstone, told Confidential:

"We had a call around midday to say a fire had started in a restaurant basement, when we arrived people had already been safely evacuated by wardens.

"Our firefighters were confronted with a heavily smoke-logged building," he continued. "When the crews went inside to tackle the blaze they found the fire had spread through a duct in the building so we had to contain the fire and make sure it didn't spread to the other floors."

We spoke briefly to the Carlton House Group's building manager at the scene. He told Confidential that months of work to refurbish offices in the building had only just finished before the fire broke out.

"The smoke gets everywhere," he told us gloomily.

As it happened on Twitter...

Up to 50 firefighters gathered at Carlton HouseUp to 50 firefighters gathered at Carlton House

Firefighters prepare hosesFirefighters prepare hoses

Ten fire engines attended the emergencyTen fire engines attended the emergency

Buildings are evacuated on Central StreetBuildings are evacuated on Central Street

Emergency services tackle the fire from County StreetEmergency services tackle the fire from County Street...

Img_1097... and from above

Img_1118Firefighters take a breather

Img_1121Everything's ok up here

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AnonymousJanuary 13th 2015.

Town Hall Square?!

AnonymousJanuary 13th 2015.

At least ten fire engines. Must have been a quiet day for the lads.

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