Firefighters battled a huge blaze at the derelict Ayr Station Hotel into the night on Monday, with all train services in the area suspended. 

Flames and smoke poured out of the building after the fire took hold around 5:30pm, with huge structural damage already evident to the landmark property.

Fifteen fire appliances raced to the scene as firefighters battle to control the inferno, which caused the building's spire to collapse.

Firefighters confirmed that no injuries have been reported, but warned locals to stay indoors and keep their windows shut.

A spokesperson for Scottish Fire and Rescue said: "We were called at 5.37pm to reports of a fire at the Station Hotel, on Smith Street.

"We received a further 67 calls regarding the fire. We currently have 15 appliances at the scene."

"Members of the public in nearby housing are advised to close windows and doors as a precaution. "No casualties have been reported at this time."

Train services through the station were immediately suspended, with Network Rail staff at the station assessing if any damage has occured to overhead equipment and other infrastructure. 

Trains to and from Ayr remained cancelled on Tuesday morning, with services between Ayr and Glasgow Central not operating south of Irvine - and a warning that disruption was expected until at least Wednesday morning.

Replacement buses are operating, picking up and dropping off outside the Morrisons supermarket on Castlehill Road.

A South Ayrshire Council spokesperson said: "The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service are fighting the fire at the former Station Hotel.

"We will be guided by them in terms of public safety. The council will assess the structural integrity of the building when the fire has been extinguished."

Local politicians have reacted to the fire, expressing their dismay at the latest incident to hit the controversial building.

Allan Dorans, the MP for Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock, said: "Derelict Ayr Station Hotel currently on fire again. Fire well developed and spreading."

Siobhian Brown, MSP for Ayr, Prestwick and Troon, added: "Due to the ongoing fire at the station hotel, all surrounding roads and Ayr train station are shut. Please keep away from the area."

West Scotland Labour MSP Katy Clark added: "Appalling to see Ayr Station Hotel on fire again after years of neglect."

The building previously went on fire in May this year, with a 17-year-old male arrested and charged following the incident.

The latest fire happened within days of South Ayrshire Council holding a special meeting to discuss the future of the buidling.

At a meeting on September 15 councillors agreed to spend a further £744,000 on keeping the protective scaffolding and sheeting in place around the building's southern section until May 2024 - along with £80,000 on traffic management measures.

Conservation group SAVE Britain's Heritage published a report the day before that meeting estimating that repair and restoration of the building would cost £9.2 million.

The council had said it would cost around £6.6 million to demolish the southern section alone - but admitted it did not have the cash to stump up for the demolition work.