Moment screaming children flee in terror after school roof collapses during fierce blaze
- Peebles High School in the Scottish Borders caught fire at lunchtime today
- Pupils ran from the building screaming as flames erupted from the building
- The school will be closed tomorrow and again on Monday following the fire
- A full investigation has been launched to determine the cause of today’s blaze
This is the shocking moment pupils ran for their lives after their lives after their school caught fire.
A school will be closed until next week as firefighters tackle a blaze that led to pupils being evacuated. It is understood the fire started as a result of a blast from a clay oven in the art’s department.
Fire crews were called to the scene at Peebles High School in the Borders shortly before 1pm on Thursday.
Children ran screaming from Peebles High School in the Scottish Borders after it burst into flames earlier today
The school was safely evacuated after fire ripped through part of the complex
Hundreds of pupils were forced to evacuate Peebles high school in the Scottish borders today
More than 40 firefighters tackled the blaze, which the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) described as ‘severe’.
Borders Council said all pupils and staff were safe and accounted for.
The school will be closed on Friday and Monday as the council liaises with the fire service and assesses the situation.
The school show on Thursday evening has been cancelled.
One 18-year-old pupil from the school told the PA news agency: ‘I was just coming back up to school after an appointment at the dentist and I see the school is up in flames with huge black clouds of smoke.
‘After wandering around with a couple of other fellow pupils we watched what seemed to be the modern languages/art building collapse and raise an even bigger fire.
‘From what I saw the smoke was so big it began to move over the fire assembly point where everyone was gathered and looked to be restricting clean air for everyone standing there.’
He said he believe the Christmas dance on Tuesday has also been cancelled.
Pupils who live in the town were taken to the nearby Priorsford Primary School while pupils who use school transport were taken to Peebles Parish Church and then on to their buses.
Borders Council said the school will be shut on Friday and on Monday for the St Andrew’s Day bank holiday.
Chief executive Tracey Logan said: ‘We have taken the early decision that the school will be closed tomorrow and obviously also the St Andrew’s Day holiday on Monday.
‘During this time we will liaise with Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to ascertain the extent of the damage with a view to determining when the school can re-open and/or any alternative arrangements.
‘Parents, pupils and staff will be informed through the normal channels.’
Emergency servies rushed to the scene shortly after 1pm. The school will be closed tomorrow and again on Monday
The fire service urged people to avoid the area.
Incident Commander Stephen Gourlay said: ‘More than 40 firefighters continue to tackle a well-developed building fire at Peebles High School, on Springwood Road, Peebles.
‘At present, we have nine fire appliances and two height appliances at the scene, working closely alongside emergency service partners.
‘The alarm was first raised at 12.57pm on Thursday November 28.
‘The school was immediately evacuated, and there are no reported casualties
‘Members of the public are asked to avoid the area at this time to allow access for the emergency services and we expect to remain in attendance for some time.’
Conservative MSP for South Scotland Michelle Ballantyne said the fire was ‘devastating’.
She said: ‘I’m relieved to hear that so far there have been no casualties. My thoughts are with the students and staff and Peebles High School.
‘I believe we owe a massive debt of gratitude to our firefighters and emergency workers who are onsite managing the situation.
‘This will be heartbreaking for the staff and pupils, and over the next few days I know council officials will be working very hard to ensure pupils’ education will not be disrupted.’