A FORMER furniture store collapsed as 50 firefighters from seven engines battled flames which engulfed the building.
The blaze broke out at the disused furniture warehouse on College Road, Masbrough, with flames and smoke visible from miles around.
Part of the building collapsed while firefighters were at the scene, rendering the building too dangerous for them to enter.
Incident Commander Tony Carlin said: “When crews arrived the roof space was already well alight with flames shooting out of the top.
“The firefighters did an excellent job quickly establishing what was inside and bringing the fire under control. It was clearly not safe enough to commit crews inside so we tackled the flames using two aerial platforms.”
Residents in neighbouring homes and streets were advised to keep their windows closed to avoid the smoke filtering into their properties.
Part of College Road was closed while firefighters surrounded the building and motorists were advised to avoid the area because of smoke causing reduced visibility.
A fire service spokesman said: “The building was a disused furniture store and warehouse which still had some items inside, such as sofas and carpets. When crews arrived it was well alight and the fire had already entered the roof space.”
The cause of the blaze yesterday was still not known. An investigation is planned.