Littlewoods fire: Flames rip through famous building in Liverpool
At least nine fire crews, supported by firefighters on three combined platform ladders, are tackling the blaze at the iconic 1930s building.
About 40 per cent of the building is on fire, from the first floor upwards.
A spokesman for Merseyside Fire and Rescue said 60 people called raising the alarm after the blaze broke out just before 8pm on Sunday.
There have been been no reports of injuries.
People living near the site in Edge Lane have been told to keep their windows and doors shut as huge plumes of smoke rise from the building.
Firefighters have been tearing hoardings off the windows to get better access to the flames inside.
Firefighters are using ladders to try to battle the blaze (PA)
Senior officials from the fire service, police, Liverpool City Council and the building's owner - property developer Capital & Centric - have been meeting to discuss the best firefighting tactics.
The building has stood empty since 2003, having formerly been the headquarters of the Littlewoods department store, catalogue shopping and football pools empire.
It was built in 1938 but was then requisitioned as part of the war effort.
There was a huge blaze at the Littlewoods Building in Liverpool on Sunday (PA)
More than five million parachutes were made there before it was returned to Littlewoods, an iconic Liverpool business built up by self-made millionaire Sir John Moores.
It has stood empty for at least 15 years as various redevelopment schemes fell through.
Recently plans were unveiled for it to be transformed into a £50 million film and television studio hub called Littlewoods Stuidos.
Twickenham Studios was planning to be based at the new centre, with its facility possibly open by 2020.
Capital & Centric believed about 550 people would be based at the complex when it was fully developed.
An area measuring 200m by 100m was on fire (PA)
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson tweeted: "Absolutely heartbreaking news that the iconic Littlewoods Building is ablaze, looks pretty bad at this stage, let's hope and pray its salvageable."
Source : London Evening Standard