Fire crews from throughout north east Fife have been called to a dramatic blaze in a building at St Andrews University.
The fire took hold on the third floor of the biomedical science building just before 5pm on Sunday.
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service units from St Andrews, Cupar, Tayport and Anstruther were initially called to the scene and are understood to have been joined by an aerial platform and other specialist resources.
A command unit also arrived at the campus, on the north edge of the town, shortly before 6pm.
There have been no reports of casualties at this stage, but ambulances were called to the scene.
Police threw up a cordon around the building, with a large crowd of onlookers kept hundreds of meters back as the fire ripped through the block.
At least six pumps are being used to bring the blaze under control.
St Andrews Chemistry building fire spreading through the cladding. pic.twitter.com/jRtf2hRArX
— Neil Lawson (@NeilLawson) February 10, 2019
Scary scenes in St Andrews tonight. https://t.co/SyTLoMh8SB
— Sarah Vesty (@C_SVesty) February 10, 2019
A SFRS spokesperson at the Edinburgh control room said the emergency call indicated an alarm had been reported as operating in the building and there was a fire.
Due to a building fire at St Andrews University, police are advising people to avoid the area until further notice.#PlanAhead
— Traffic Scotland (@trafficscotland) February 10, 2019
Local man Innes Muir watched the incident develop from its early stages.
“It was just like a light in one room and then you could see a fire, but it has now gone through all the floors, it’s pretty dramatic,” said the 18-year-old.
Video posted on the St Andrews Photo Corner Facebook page showed the speed at which the fire took hold of the building.
Posted by Bryndís Blackadder on Sunday, 10 February 2019
He said police had twice told onlookers to move away from the scene.
“It all took hold pretty quickly, there are more and more blue lights arriving all the time,” he said.
Firefighters are currently tackling a large fire at a St Andrews University building.
— Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (@fire_scot) February 10, 2019
The Biomedical Sciences Building on the Fife town’s North Haugh is shared by St Andrews’ Schools of Chemistry and Biology.
Built in the late 90s, the four-storey building is shared by St Andrews’ Schools of Chemistry and Biology houses and houses labs conducting medically-focused research in organic and synthetic chemistry, virology and microbiology.
This is devastating to watch. Our lab has been badly affected. A sad day for St Andrews Chemistry indeed. I have three years of PhD work in there. pic.twitter.com/YCkvnrdup1
— Bryony Hockin (@bryonyhockin) February 10, 2019
It was created the first of its kind as an innovative way to bring cutting edge interdisciplinary biology and chemistry together and BMS is known as a centre of excellence addressing issues such antibiotic resistance and infectious disease.
Approximately 100 staff and post graduate students work in the building.