Works by around 250 students were inside the building which went up in flames at the Glasgow School of Art this afternoon.

The blaze broke out in the Mackintosh building in the prestigious art school while it was full of budding artists during term-time.

Firefighters donned breathing gear to mount a search and rescue operation, which saw everyone inside the building escape unharmed.

A spokesman for the College of Art told IBTimes UK: "There were lots of people in the building and we are really pleased that there has been no fatalities and no casualties. That is the priority."

Unconfirmed reports suggest the source of the blaze was a projector in the basement in a building at the rear of the prestigious art school, in the city centre.

Firefighters from three stations continued to battle the blaze four hours after they were called to the scene in Renfrew Street, at around 12.30pm on Friday.

Speaking at the site of the fire, chief officer Alasdair Hay said: "This is likely to be a protracted incident and crews have been working extremely hard to tackle what is clearly a very significant fire.

"The priority throughout this operation has been to protect life but salvage operations are also underway."

Only this week the Glasgow School of Art was awarded a prestigious prize by architecture experts at the Architect's Journal. It followed a recent £50m extension to the Mackintosh building.