Large blaze at University of Crete building under control

Library photo - Fire fighters via To Vima

A serious fire broke out at an unused University of Crete building near the centre of Heraklion at around 8 a.m on Sunday.

Twenty-eight firefighters with 25 engines and a helicopter were dispatched to the scene getting the fire under control before midday. Authorities earlier had asked units of the ambulance service  (EKAB) to stand by as the blaze approached the Venizeleio hospital.

The police evacuated a nearby student residence which houses 70 students, many of whom were away for the weekend.

Surrounding roads were closed as the fire services worried there may be flammable substances remaining in the building that could cause explosions.

Local press reports that polyurethane insulation panels covering the roof of the building were on fire releasing thick black smoke

The cause of the blaze remained unclear.