A former college building is on fire this afternoon, less than a fortnight after selling at auction for more than a quarter of a million pounds.

The Grade II listed Forster Community College building in Captain Street fetched £288,000 - more than twice its guide price - earlier this month.

Flames and smoke were seen from a downstairs window just before 3pm on Wednesday.

A spokeswoman for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said four fire engines from Bradford, Shipley and Odsal were called to the scene.

She said it was a ground floor fire, with 15 per cent of the ground floor involved, and that a fire investigator was due at the scene to look at the cause of the blaze. 

Nobody was inside the building at the time and nobody has been hurt, the spokeswoman confirmed. 

Mark Cowgill, a director at nearby Exa Networks, said: "It seemed to take hold really quickly.

"It looked pretty bad. As soon as we saw it we rang the fire brigade immediately."

The school has been empty since August, when Forster Community College re-located to Little Germany.

The building dates back to 1872 when it was opened as a Cathedral School, and until the auction it was owned by the Church of England Diocese of Leeds.

It is currently divided into offices, training rooms and classrooms.

The identity for the site's new owners has not yet been revealed.