FIREFIGHTERS are still on the scene this morning following a major fire in Salisbury city centre.

A blaze ripped through the historic Market Inn and caused significant damage to the popular restaurant Charter 1227 next door last night.

The fire started in the pub in the Market Place sometime after midnight but spread to the neighbouring roof, damaging both roofs and the floors below.

The roof and second floor of Stoby's fish and chip shop also suffered some damage and Costa Coffee, which is below Charter 1227, suffered smoke and water damage.

Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service were called at 12.49am and at the height of the blaze about 75 firefighters were tackling the flames with crews from Salisbury, Wilton, Amesbury, Tisbury, Ludgershall, Warminster, Devizes and Pewsey attending.

Hampshire firefighters from Romsey, Fordingbridge and Redbridge also assisted.

The age of the buildings has made it difficult to battle the blaze because there are so many nooks and crannies, and smoke was still coming out of the Market Inn at 9am this morning.

A fire spokesman said crews are still tackling pockets of fire within the two buildings which are difficult to get to because the buildings are too dangerous to enter.

She said: “The fire is under control in that it's not going to spread any further but we will have crews there throughout the day keeping water on it.”

She said it is too early to know how the fire started and an investigation will not be carried out until firefighters can safely enter the buildings.

* To see footage of the fire on Youtube, click here.