Around 100 firefighters were deployed to deal with an enormous warehouse fire in Newcastle on Tuesday night.

Surreal footage from locals and passersby showed a ferocious blaze swallowing an old wool store building in the Newcastle suburb of Wickham. This was in spite of the rain that’s swept up the region.

ABC reported that the building’s kaolin-soaked timbers were more than 100 years old. The building’s foundations fell apart as the tin roof caved in and menacing thick cloud of smoke filled the sky.

The Newcastle building was allegedly used as an office space. Locals told the outlet that there were plans for the building to be renovated into “Manhattan-style loft apartments”.

NSW Police said that emergency services were called out to the storage facility on Annie Street, Wickham after receiving reports of a large building on fire.

NSW Fire and Rescue Superintendent Adam Dewbury said via ABC that another building was on fire. Local firefighters were worried the fire would spread to a nearby fuel storage space.

Carly Galvin lives across the street from the fire in a similar building that had been converted into a loft. She told the ABC she was worried about the fire spreading across the road and the smoke affecting the ventilation in her building.

“The smoke, like how is it going to affect us all in the building across the road with everyone’s windows open,” she told the outlet.

The state’s police force also warned the public to avoid the Newcastle suburb as well as Maryville and Islington. Residents and staff in businesses nearby were evacuated.

In a statement made at 5pm, it said it was unlikely these people would be able to return on Tuesday night. They are currently staying at a makeshift evacuation centre in a church nearby.

It’s unclear what exactly caused the fire or whether there were casualities. But a police investigation is currently underway.

Image: Twitter / @matt_kell01