Black Friday shoppers face disruption after Manchester Chinatown blaze

Fire has ripped through a building in Manchester's Chinatown, just yards from the ethnic quarter's imperial arch.

The blaze began at around 2.15am and threatened to cause disruption as shoppers head out to grab Black Friday deals.

A number of roads in the city centre were blocked by the fleet of fire engines sent to tackle the flames which illuminated the decorative gateway at the peak of the blaze.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service group manager Phil Nelson said: "Crews are still working hard to extinguish the building. We're using two aerial appliances which have worked well in containing the fire and preventing spread to other buildings.

"We're working with police to see if we can get the road closures opened before the morning rush-hour traffic".

Due to falling debris, firefighters were forced to keep back from the multi-storey commercial building, which was left severely damaged.

GMFRS said the blaze was contained by around 6am but Portland Street, Princess Street and Faulkner Street remained closed and anyone travelling to the area was urged to find alternative routes.

Stagecoach Greater Manchester tweeted: "Piccadilly Gdns is inaccessible due to a fire on Portland St, services are terminating and starting from Princess St."

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