A huge fire erupted in the abandoned Treska furniture factory in downtown Skopje.

The city block sized area is largely empty, but there are small houses and residential buildings around it, as well as commercial buildings operating in some of its former factory halls. There are no reports of injuries so far.

A thick plume of smoke is visible from all over the city. Firefighting crews are at the site but it’s not clear how long it will take them to put it under control. Local residents are asked to leave the area due to the smoke and the threat of the fire spreading.

The area is highly coveted by real-estate developers, and for years the owners of land on the site have asked for an ambitious development plan. The municipality of Centar has agreed to develop it, but has insisted that a large portion of the site will need to be parks and open spaces.