Huge fire on Great Portland Street in London

A vast blaze has broken out at a building in the heart of central London with 50 firefighters on the scene.

London Fire Brigade (LFB) said it was called to reports of a fire at 12.45pm on Great Portland Street, where officers were still establishing the situation.

The road is close to Oxford Street – the capital’s busiest shopping hub – and the BBC’s headquarters. 

A column of acrid black smoke could be seen rising from the fire in pictures posted on social media, apparently visible from miles away against the blue afternoon skyline.

Calls to the fire service had suggested that the fire had either broken out close to or in a building site, an LFB spokesman said.

He added that firefighters had not confirmed what type of building was ablaze.

Police are on the scene and have told the public to avoid the area if possible. 

Ten fire engines had been dispatched to battle the flames, he said.