First published at 11:48 on 19th Feb 2007 and updated during the day.
A large emergency services presence is back in South Kensington after a fire broke out in the mansions adjacent to the Royal Albert Hall. A cloud of smoke and fine mist can be seen drifting northwards across the park as over 100 firefighters attempt to tackle the blaze. At the time of writing it seems to be worsening.
Fire appliances were arriving for several hours, with over 30 vehicles at the scene including over 20 fire engines, turntable ladders, a forensics unit and London Ambulance Service rapid response vehicles. The corner of the building closest to the park is affected, with smoke pouring out of several windows. A helicopter later arrived on the scene - their infrared cameras are sometimes used by firecrews to identify hotspots within a burning building.
The buildings in the area house some student residences mixed with other private accomodation, with the southern side of an adjacent block having a large student flat with five rooms.
Sirens can be heard every few minutes as new vehicles arrive to replace crews which have been on the scene for several hours. The BBC is reporting that no-one has been hurt.
The building in question, Albert Court, houses a number of fine artworks, so salvage operations have been underway throughout the day. The affected side of the building was in the middle of a refurbishment, with scaffolding surrounding it and the roof missing. At one point crews were moving gas cylinders away from the fire, however at present some still remain.
Prince Consort Road is closed to traffic to allow access by emergency vehicles, but is currently lined on both sides by Fire Engines. Imperial's own fire engine is safely tucked up in the garage.
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