Fire, as much as it warms and is the basic in cooking food, it is that much dangerous, particularly in a copious amount.
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service sent 12 engines to the scene and warned people living nearby to close their doors and windows.
Images posted on social media show smoke billowing out of the building while crowds of people watch on from below.
The fire service said flames “had spread to multiple floors” and one person had been taken to hospital with smoke inhalation.
“Please keep windows and door shut if you live locally and avoid the area if possible,” it added on Twitter.
Church St & Tib St now CLOSED due to the ongoing serious Apartment block fire on Joiner St in the City Centre. Multiple Fire appliances & Police at the scene. Avoid the area! Lots of smoke and debris @MENnewsdesk @BBCRadioManc @KEY103NEWS pic.twitter.com/biVFh3kviG
— Manc Traffic (@manctraffic) December 30, 2017
“There are police and ambulances and fire engines everywhere.
“The fire is about halfway up the building – it looks serious.”
Another witness, Les Gunn, told BBC Radio Manchester: “The fire appears to have spread up about three floors and is now making its way towards a roof.
“There are multiple fire appliances at the scene… numerous police and emergency vehicles as well. The fire service appears to be in the building.”
North West Ambulance Service said it had sent seven ambulances and a hazardous area response team to the scene. A spokeswoman did not yet know anyone had been treated by paramedics.
Greater Manchester Police has cordoned off an area around the building between High Street and Tib Street.
Pat Karney, a Manchester councilor who went to the scene after the fire broke out, tweeted soon after 5 pm that the blaze “seems to have been put out”.
Lucy Powell, Labour MP for Manchester Central, said: “He and the council will ensure that anyone evacuated will have somewhere to stay. All fire and response procedures have kicked in. Again, please stay away from the area to allow services access.”
The fire service said the blaze was”well under control” by 6 pm.
Witness Andrew Hirst said crowds could be heard cheering as the blaze was being extinguished.
“You could hear the crowd’s cheers as it was going down and you could see the torches from the firemen searching the burned-out apartments right next door to the other apartments that were still frighteningly ablaze,” said the 36-year-old.
The businessman, who lives in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, said the firefighters “controlled it well”, adding the incident was “pretty scary”.