Cancer experts are praising the fire service for saving 25 years of vital research from a serious fire next to the Christie Hospital in Manchester.
The full impact of the damage is still being assessed - but it could take millions of pounds to rebuild the facilities.
Cancer Research UK had feared that many projects, including studies into hard-to-treat cancers might have been lost.
Mel Barham reports.
- Click here to donate to the fund to rebuild the Cancer Research UK Institute
Cancer research stretching back 25 years has been saved after a fire at a building next to the Christie in Manchester.
Staff were originally fearful many samples had been destroyed in the blaze but Professor Richard Marais, Director of Cancer Research UK Institute says a lot of the important samples are safe.
We were able to salvage some very important sample collections that have taken 25 years to collect.
Cancer Research UK has launched a fundraising campaign following the fire at its institute at the Christie hospital in Manchester.
Last year Cancer Research UK spent around £22million on wide-ranging research carried out in the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute including pioneering projects tackling hard-to-treat diseases such as pancreatic and lung cancer.
Click here to donate to the Cancer Research Manchester Institute fundraising campaign.
The charity Cancer Research UK says it spent £22m last year alone at its Paterson Building in Manchester looking for a cure for cancer.
A spokeswoman said they're awaiting further information about the extent of the damage caused by today's fire.
“The fire broke out in the roof of the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute which adjoins The Christie on Wilmslow Road. All staff were safely evacuated.
“We are currently awaiting further information from the emergency services about the extent of the damage caused by the fire which broke out this morning.
“The Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute is a leading cancer research institute, based within The University of Manchester which is core funded by Cancer Research UK.
“Last year, Cancer Research UK spent around £22million on research carried out in Manchester.
"Research spans the whole spectrum of cancer research, and also focuses on some hard-to-treat cancers, such as pancreatic and lung cancer.”
Manchester Fire service said the number of fire engines at the scene has been increased to 12, with two aerial platforms also assisting.
No buildings containing patients were evacuated, although nearby offices were.
A fire has broken out in a research lab attached to the world-reknowned Christie cancer hospital.Read the full story ›
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The building is owned by the University of Manchester and is used for research carried out there by Cancer Research UK.
A spokesman for the Christie said: "The fire service has informed us that the fire on the roof is believed to be under control.
"They are doing an internal review to ensure that the fire is completely extinguished."
“The fire service was called to an incident at The Paterson Building on Wilmslow Road at 10.36 this morning.
"Everyone has been evacuated safely from the building and the University is supporting the emergency services in managing the incident.”
"Crews are working hard to tackle a fire involving the first floor plant room and roof space of the Cancer Research UK Institute Manchester building on the hospital site.
"The affected building has been safely evacuated and other office buildings nearby have also been evacuated. Currently, no buildings containing patients are being evacuated."
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A fire at an office and laboratory block at the Christie in Manchester has led to evacuations and road closures around the hospital site.
People close by have said on social media the location is the Paterson Building, a cancer research centre located next to the hospital.
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue said five fire engines are at the scene and the building has been evacuated.
Transport for Greater Manchester urged motorists to be aware of the road closures.
"At 10.36am on Wednesday (April 26) the fire service was called to a building fire at Christie Hospital, Wilmslow Road, Manchester.
"Five fire engines and an aerial ladder are at the scene.
"Firefighters are wearing breathing apparatus and using jets and hose reels to extinguish a fire involving a three-storey office block and labs."
Due to a police incident, road closures are in place; Wilmslow Rd/Fog Ln, Wilmslow Rd/Palatine Rd and Cotton Ln/Wilmslow Rd. #TfGMTraffic.
Famous cancer hospital The Christie which is based in Manchester will open a new chemotherapy centre at Wigan.
Later this year, the new 'Christie at Wigan' chemotherapy service will move to a new Cancer Care Centre currently under construction at Wigan Infirmary.
A new breast cancer drug that could help increase survival rates has been approved.
Perjeta has been trialled at the Christie Hospital in Manchester.
Doctors found that, combined with other drugs and chemotherapy, it could extend the lives of thousands of patients.
Now it could be introduced across the country.
Elaine Willcox reports.