Witnesses said the heat from the blaze could be felt a few streets away. The fire spread to a nearby club but it appears that no one was hurt, despite a rain of burning debris falling onto adjacent streets. Jane Sutherland, who graduated from the art school in 1982 and is chair of the local arts council, watched the flames from her nearby apartment. “The fire was immense,” she told the Guardian. “People were dodging fist-sized flaming embers last night. All the neighbours were out; we were all worried all the roofs were going up.”

The Glasgow School of Art issued a statement about the fire today, noting that the building—affectionately known as “the Mack”—hasn’t been in use for four years due to restoration efforts following the previous blaze. “Whilst the fire in ‘the Mack’ is devastating news, The Glasgow School of Art’s immediate focus is on our students, and on the continuing operation of the GSA to ensure minimum disruption to students and staff,” the statement provides. All of the school’s buildings will remain closed for the next week.

Long-term prospects for the Mack don’t seem hopeful right now. “The building does look as though from the inside it’s been totally gutted. All that seems to remain is the stone walls,” observed Alan Dunlop, an architecture professor at the school. Immortality turns out to be a tall order—even for a building.

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