ONE person has been taken to hospital as a large fire at George IV Bridge in Edinburgh has closed several roads in the city centre.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) was called to the blaze at 6.18am on Tuesday to a fire affecting a number of properties.

Images from the scene showed smoke pouring from a branch of Patisserie Valerie, next door to the the Elephant House cafe which was made famous as a place where JK Rowling wrote much of her early Harry Potter series.

More than 60 firefighters tackled the blaze with 12 fire engines and two height appliances sent out.

Members of the public are being asked to avoid the area if possible and local residents advised to keep their windows shut due to smoke.

A Scottish Ambulance Service spokesman said: "We received a call at 0639 hours today to attend an incident at George IV Bridge in Edinburgh with our first resource arriving on scene at 0646.

"We dispatched two ambulances, one paramedic response unit and our special operations team to the scene.

"We transported one patient to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and treated one patient at the scene."

The National:

Incident commander, SFRS deputy assistant chief officer David Farries, said: "This is undoubtedly a complex and challenging incident.

"I would like to thank our crews as they work to extinguish the fire. I would also like to thank our emergency services colleagues and local authority partners.

"We will remain in attendance for a considerable time yet as we work to contain the fire.

"We continue to ask people living nearby to keep windows and doors closed due to smoke.

"Road closures remain in place and we advise people to avoid the area and to allow access for emergency service vehicles."

Police Scotland said in a statement: "Our officers are currently assisting the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service dealing with a large fire at George IV Bridge.

"Please be aware that there are numerous road closures in the vicinity of George IV Bridge and Candlemaker Row at present and avoid the area where possible."