Leeds fire: Huge blaze in city centre with ‘loud explosions’ and bars evacuated

A huge fire continues to rage in Leeds city centre on Sunday morning after breaking out the night before.

Bars were forced to shut down late on Saturday as emergency services battled the roaring blaze.

Images and video shared online showed massive flames near a construction site in Leeds with Millenium Square being evacuated.

People were seen being told to leave bars with full pints in their hands while smoke billowed into the sky.

One wrote: “Fire in Leeds still not under control. Looks to be spread across multiple floors of the building. Loud explosions coming from the site.”

Another added: “Massive fire in Leeds this eve at the old City Council building near the museum. Loads of emergency vehicles in attendance, looks awful.”

Fire crews from seven different stations were at the scene on Saturday night, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said in a statement.

A spokesperson added that the top three floors of the derelict building are still alight.

Flames were seen spreading to multiple floors of the building as other videos online showed fire crews trying to tame the fire.

Pixel Bar wrote on social media they were told to shut early.

The venue said: “There’s a building on fire further down Great George Street that emergency services have responded to.

“No danger to the bar, but following police advice we’re closing our doors until further notice tonight and hope to be open again later this evening. Stay safe!”

Unconfirmed reports online suggest the fire was started by fireworks.

It is thought the building is a construction site and was the city’s old council building. The Leonardo building is a listed building and currently being turned into student flats.

It is unclear when the fire started, but witness reports started flooding in online just before 8pm.

The main building affected is a derelict building and the fire across the top three floors is still out of control.

Yorkshire Ambulance has dispatched its Hazardous Area Response Team to the scene to support local paramedics and said they were standing by at the scene but so far there had been no known injuries or casualties.

West Yorkshire Police are at the scene assisting with road closures.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said that the fire was reported to them at 7:47pm and that they had firefighters from seven different stations in attendance alongside special teams.

In a statement released online they said: “Ten pumps at Leeds city centre derelict high rise fire. On going incident. Top three floors still alight. Safety cordon in place and surrounding buildings have been evacuated due to potentially unsafe structure of the derelict building.

“West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is working with West Yorkshire Police and Yorkshire Ambulance Service. The Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) is also in attendance.”

A number of people have said the main building affected is the Leonardo building, a reportedly grade II building that had been due to be redeveloped into student accommodation.