Crowds applauded as firefighters tackled a huge fire in a Manchester tower block on Saturday afternoon (30 December).

The blaze appeared to take hold on the ninth and 10th floors of a 12-storey apartment block in Joiner Street in the city's Northern Quarter shortly after 4pm.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) sent 12 fire engines to tackle the blaze and asked people to avoid the area. Local residents were advised to keep their windows and doors shut.

Manchester Police said: "We are currently supporting colleagues from GMFRS responding to a fire at a block of flats on Joiner Street in the Northern Quarter. A number of roads have been closed in the area. Please try to avoid the area." It is as yet unknown whether there were any injuries but paramedics are also on the scene.

By 5pm the fire, which had raged with bright orange flames and sent black smoke into the sky, appeared to be under control. An onlooker at the scene told the BBC: "The fire has now been doused. A big hose on some kind of crane got it under control. The crowd has been applauding the firefighters as they are doing a heroic job."

Manchester fire service said at 5:42pm that one person had been taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation. The service also reminded locals to avoid the surrounding area as the fire is still being fought and nearby roads remain closed.

Manchester councillor Pat Karney said the city's emergency procedures were going to kick in, and posted an image on Twitter with the caption: "Fire seems to have been out in flats."

Manchester Central MP Lucy Powell added that "all fire and response procedures have kicked in" and that the council will ensure any evacuated residents have somewhere to stay.

Manchester tower block fire
The blaze took hold in a 12-storey tower block in Manchester's Northern Quarter. Andy Stewart