A press conference is due to be held this afternoon following this morning's fire in High Town, Hereford.

Large parts of High Town are still closed after the blaze at the Card Shop.

Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service were first called at 4.25am this morning and crews from Hereford were at the scene within minutes.

They found a large fire in several shops in High Town, involving three four-storey buildings, some with heritage importance.

There were 25 fire engines at the scene at the height of the fire, most of them from across Herefordshire, plus support from neighbouring Service areas.

As many as 60 firefighters in breathing apparatus helped tackle the fire, and two aerial ladder platforms, two aerial jets, eight firefighting jets and four hose reels were used along with the Compressed Air Foam System (CAFS) appliance.

Two water carriers also attended along with the Incident Support Unit from Droitwich and the Environmental Protection Unit from Evesham, while Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) equipment was also used to gain access to premises during the course of the incident.

Assistant Chief Officer at H&WFRS, Tony Prosser said: “Fortunately the premises were unoccupied as the fire broke out and there was no one injured.

“Fire officers were at the scene very quickly and were able to stop the fire spreading laterally, although it was a particularly complicated incident to tackle.

"Thanks to their intervention and the multi-agency involvement, fire damage and disruption to the local business community has been kept to a minimum."

He confirmed that the fire is now under control although several fire appliances are still at the scene damping down.

Police and fire officers are now working to investigate how the fire started.

The Hereford Times will bring further news following the press conference.