National Archives, Kew
The National Archives at KewWikimedia Commons/Nick Cooper

A fire has broken out in the National Archives in Kew, where many of the UK's priceless historical manuscripts and documents are kept.

A spokesperson for London Fire Brigade said that two disused water towers that were being decommissioned caught fire at about 12.30pm at the site in Richmond, south-west London.

Around 20 firefighters attended the scene in four engines, and soon brought the blaze under control.

Police said that no one was trapped or injured. It is not believed that any of the archive's collection has been damaged.

On its Twitter page, London Fire Brigade said: "The fire in Kew is under control - crews are now tackling remaining hot spots and small pockets of fire. No injuries have been reported."

National Archives UK thanked people for their support, and tweeted: "We can confirm the fire has been put out, but we will stay closed to the public in order to recover the building."

The National Archives is the official UK government archive.
It contains 11 million documents, some dating back more than 1,000 years.

Among its treasures is the Domesday book, as well as parchments, photographs, electronic records, posters and paintings.

The fire brigade is now conducting an investigation to establish the cause of the blaze.