CREWS from Bury and Whitefield are among the teams who are responding to a major fire at an old school building in Higher Blackley.

The blaze at the site of the former Camberwell Park School in Bank House Road broke out just after 1am today.

Firefighters from Bury and Whitefield turned out to the incident shortly after 1am and to help tackle the flames.

Pete Gray, watch manager at Bury Fire Station, said: "We were called to assist at the blaze, which had spread to an area of 40m by 80m.

"The single-storey school building was completely alight.

"We could see huge plumes of smoke as we were on our way there.

"We were tasked with getting as much water to the incident as possible."

Crews from Bury, Heywood and Chadderton helped supply water to put out the flames. Meanwhile, the Whitefield crew were assisting on the ground.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service has since said that the incident is "scaling down".

Crews will remain at the scene into the morning to ensure that the fire is damped down and the site made safe.

The area around the scene in Bank House Road is expected to be cordoned off for several hours yet.

In an update at 5.30am, group manager Phil Nelson said: "It has been a tough few hours but the fire is now essentially out.

"Our firefighters have worked tirelessly to extinguish the flames and we will be here through the day ensuring that the scene is fully damped down and there are no further hotspots.

"It is too early at this stage to speculate about a cause. I want to thank colleagues from Greater Manchester Police, North West Ambulance Service, the Environment Agency, utilities companies and the local council for their assistance."

Crews from Blackley, Chadderton, Hollins and Manchester Central remain at the scene.

There is still smoke in the surrounding area and residents have been urged to keep their windows and doors shut, and to take care if travelling.