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Newcastle Kard Bar fire: One feared dead after five-hour blaze

  • 12-3-2015

One person is feared dead after a large blaze in Newcastle city centre which took fire crews more than five hours to bring under control.

Emergency services said someone might have been trapped on the upper floors of the Kard Bar poster and print shop on Cross Street.

Police evacuated nearby buildings after the fire broke out at about 09:00 GMT.

Firefighters could not enter the building until gas supplies and the building's stability had been checked.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service Assistant Chief Officer John Baines said there was "concern about one person".

"We can't confirm if all persons have been accounted for but, as part of our investigations, we will be establishing that," he said.

More than 50 firefighters were at the scene at the height of the fire.

Customers of the shop have expressed their shock at the news on social media, many remembering purchases made there in their youth.

Stephen Nixon tweeted he had bought rock postcards and the city's famous Viz magazine at the "cracking hangout".

Michael Harker wrote he had been evacuated from a nearby building and the "once bright and lit up" shop was now just "dark, nothingness".

Another twitter user suggested a memorial day where customers "wear or bring whatever we bought from there".

Northumbria Police said Westgate Road, Clayton Road and Cross Street had to be closed because of thick smoke.

The fire service, which had 11 appliances at the scene, said the outbreak had been confined to one building.

Commuters and shoppers were told to avoid the area.

Police advised residents to shut doors and windows and said students had been evacuated from nearby International House.

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Reproduced under licence from BBC News © 2015 BBC

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