A FIREFIGHTER is today in hospital with serious injuries after a wall collapsed on top of him as crews battled a blaze at a former Greenock social club.

The old Larkfield Masonic Association (LMA) hall in Auchmead Road went up in flames around midnight and the building was left gutted.

Six appliances were sent to the scene and one crew member was badly injured during the operation.

It's understood the man suffered a collapsed lung and other serious injuries after the wall collapsed.

A spokesman for the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service (SFRS) said: "At 12.18am on Thursday, 25 August the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service was alerted to a fire at an unoccupied building on Auchmead Road, Greenock.

 “The fire had broken through the roof of the property and 24 firefighters were engaged in fighting the fire.

 “During this operation one of our firefighters was injured following the collapse of an external wall. He was taken to Inverclyde Royal Hospital where he remains in a serious condition.

 “The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is offering full support to the firefighter, his family and his colleagues at this very difficult time.

"We are conducting a detailed internal investigation.

 “The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is also working with Police Scotland to determine the cause of the fire, which is currently being treated as suspicious.”

The LMA has been shut since November last year.

It was bought in March by the Lalley family, who own a number of convenience stores in Greenock.

They planned to re-open the club as a family restaurant and spend up to £25,000 refurbishing the property.

But the proposals were rejected by Inverclyde Council planning officers last month.