A total of 55 firefighters are tackling a blaze at a building in Newcastle where it is believed people are trapped.
Crew have been fighting a fire at a shop on Cross Street in Newcastle since before 8.48am, today.
A total 11 crews and two aerial ladder platforms are being used to tackle the blaze which has engulfed the shop which has three floors above.
It is thought there may be people on the upper floors of the building.
They are being assisted by police who have closed off the street and the North East Ambulance Service. An evacuation of the area has also taking place.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer John Baines said: “We are tackling a severe fire in a building in Newcastle city centre and we have deployed more than 55 firefighters on 11 appliances, including two Aerial ladder Platform appliances.
“I’d ask members of the public to avoid the area for the time being. We understand this will cause some congestion in the city centre and would like to thank the public for their patience as we deal with the incident.”