A 57-year-old man has died in a major flat fire in Inverness city centre.
Emergency services were called to the property on Queensgate after flames broke out around 2.50am.
The body of the man was recovered from inside the first-floor flat.
Three fire appliances were involved as crews used a hose-reel jet to battle the flames.
A joint fire and police investigation has been launched to establish the cause of the fire.
A police spokeswoman said: “Around 2.50am, officers were called to reports of a fire within a property on Queensgate, Inverness.
“Emergency services attended, and the body of a 57-year-old man was found within the property.
“He was pronounced dead at the scene.”
Crews remain on the scene
Queensgate was closed to pedestrians and traffic from 2.50am until about 9.30am.
A cordon has been put in place across the entrance to 27-67 Queensgate and officers wearing white forensic suits were seen going in and out of the building.
Businesses in the area are operating as normal.
Update – Queensgate, InvernessPlease note that Queensgate has now reopened.Emergency services were called to reports…
There is little to no damage visible from Queensgate itself and the Market Close area behind the block remains closed.
Residents in the affected block were forced out onto the street into freezing temperatures while fire crews tackled the blaze.
One person, who works on the street and asked not to be named, said some of the residents sought refuge in a nearby restaurant.
Another office worker said he arrived at work to find yellow tape around the entrance to his workplace.
He said: “The fire was already out by the time I got here but we knew something had happened as soon as we arrived. The firefighters allowed us past the cordon to get into work.”
It is understood the people living in the adjoining flats have now been allowed back in.
The Queensgate Hotel
Today’s fire occurred in part of a building which was rebuilt after a huge blaze nearly three decades ago.
Around 50 guests were forced to flee from their beds by a huge fire at the Queensgate Hotel on May 21, 1992.
More than 13 units were called to tackle the flames at its height.
Widespread disruption affected the area for months as Queensgate and Church Street, both major city centre routes, remained closed to traffic while scaffolders and cranes worked to make the shell of the building safe.
The damage was estimated at £4m.