Around 60 firefighters have brought a major blaze under control at Nottingham University.The “significant incident” began at approximately 8.30pm on Friday at the GlaxoSmithKline building on the Jubilee Campus.
Witnesses said they have heard loud explosions from the building, which is under construction and unoccupied.
No one was injured and no other buildings were affected as fire crews fought to gain control of the fire while it tore through the timber-framed building, sending burning debris into the sky above.
Nottingham Fire and Rescue group manager Joanne Wooler-Ward said: “No other buildings have been affected, fortunately no people were involved in this fire and we’ve had 12 crews here, that’s over 60 firefighters.
“Credit to those firefighters who pulled out all the stops to prevent this fire spreading.
“When we arrived, the fire was a significant size – it could be seen from quite a distance – and there was a smoke plume spreading towards the campus area so we sent out a message for people to keep doors and windows closed.
“The firefighters have worked hard to contain that fire and stop it from spreading to any other buildings.”
In a statement, university registrar Dr Paul Greatrix said: “Thankfully, there have been no casualties as this is a building that was still under construction.”
The carbon-neutral building, which was due to be opened early next year, cost £15.8m and would have had enough laboratory space for more than 100 researchers.
Some eyewitnesses on Twitter have claimed that the complex has been “completely destroyed”.
Dr Greatrix added: “(Saturday) we are due to welcome prospective students and their families to Nottingham for our Open Day and we would like to stress that this is still going ahead as planned.”