Fire crews are continuing to tackle the blaze at iconic building which saw members of Franz Ferdinand and Travis walk through its doors

A huge fire has broken at the Glasgow School of Art.

Eyewitnesses at the iconic listed building, which has seen members of Franz Ferdinand and Travis pass through its doors over the years, said the fire appeared to have started when a projector exploded in the basement of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh building just before 12:30pm (BST) today (May 23), reports BBC News.

Six fire appliances are at the scene, with firefighters pouring water on the building from a high ladder as flames blew windows out. Police have cordoned off Renfrew Street, and smoke was also seen drifting across the M8.

Final year students were said to have been preparing for their end of year show in the building when the blaze broke out. The art school said everyone in the building escaped safely and there have been no reports of any casualties.

Singer Lily Allen was one of the first artists to express their dismay over the fire. She tweeted:

Oh no! This Glasgow School Of Art fire is devastating.

— Lily Allen (@lilyallen) May 23, 2014

The dramatic art nouveau design took about 12 years to be completed, opening in 1909, but it signalled the birth of a new style in 20th Century European architecture.

More than a century later it remains a working building serving hundreds of students.

It also attracts about 20,000 visitors each year, who are taken on tours of the building, according to the school’s website.

In recent years, Glasgow School of Art has produced many of the UK’s leading contemporary artists such as Douglas Gordon and David Shrigley and three recent Turner Prize winners: Simon Starling in 2005, Richard Wright in 2009 and Martin Boyce in 2011.

Other former students include actors Robbie Coltrane and Peter Capaldi and artist Peter Howson.