FIREFIGHTERS are tackling a fire in Winchester this afternoon, bringing traffic chaos to the city centre.

Initially there were reports of a person trapped inside but fears were soon discounted.

A man had to be rescued from the balcony of the building. He was treated at the scene by paramedics but not taken to hospital.

Eight firefighters in breathing apparatus were using two jets and one hose to tackle the flames in the roof space of Edwardian De Lunn Buildings.

At least five fire appliances and an aerial ladder are outside the building on Jewry Street opposite the Theatre Royal.

Police and ambulances have also been called at around 2.45pm. Armed police officers were also on the scene but it is believed their presence was coincidental.

The emergency has led to the blocking of Jewry Street, a key street in the Winchester one-way system instantly causing gridlock though the city centre.