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There was applause for the response of the emergency services as the situation was brought under control, with some firefighters going onto balconies to tackle the flames.

Roads were closed as emergency services responded to the fire in a 12-storey building in the city's Northern Quarter on Saturday evening (Sunday morning NZ time).

Fire engulfs a 12-storey apartment block in Manchester.

Manchester Fire have said that 12 fire engines are in attendance.

He also disclosed that one person had been taken to hospital for treatment after inhaling smoke as the fire raged.

Lucy Powell, the MP for Manchester Central, tweeted that she had spoken with the fire service and confirmed that the building is being safely evacuated and the fire is under control.

It is not yet clear whether the building has been fully evacuated or if there are any casualties.

Witnesses described how people cheered in the surrounding area as the visible flames were slowly extinguished.

"Paramedics & others are at the scene to triage all those affected but no serious injuries known. Firefighters along with colleagues from the Police and Ambulance service have done an awesome job to tackle this hard incident!"

The businessman, who lives in Manchester's Northern Quarter, said the firefighters "controlled it well", adding the incident was "pretty scary".