Huge blaze engulfs high school as more than 80 firefighters battle flames through the night
- Scottish Fire and Rescue Service were called to the school at 5.05pm on Sunday
- The blaze at Woodmill High School, Dunfermline, being fought by 15 fire engines
- There have been no reported casualties. School is closed to all students today
More than 80 firefighters are battling a ‘very large and complex’ blaze at a high school in Scotland.
The blaze at Woodmill High School was being fought by 15 fire engines and two height appliances since the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service was called at 5.05pm on Sunday.
Deputy assistant chief officer Stuart Stevens said: ‘This is a very large and complex incident and our firefighters continue to work in difficult conditions to extinguish the flames.’
The blaze at Woodmill High School was being fought by 15 fire engines and two height appliances since the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service was called at 5.05pm on Sunday
There are two height appliances being used to battle the blaze in Scotland that raged overnight
The incident commander added that the fire was burning in the school’s main building but firefighters were working around the building’s edge to contain it.
‘This will be a prolonged incident and our advice to nearby residents and members of the public is to avoid the area to allow access for emergency service vehicles, and close doors and windows due to high volumes of smoke,’ Mr Stevens said.
There have been no reported casualties.
The school, which is located about 20 miles north-west of Edinburgh, announced it would be closed to all students on Monday. Monday is not a bank holiday in Scotland.
Students returned to school last Wednesday. It is not clear at this stage how long the school will be closed for.
Speaking on BBC’s Good Morning Scotland, local councillor Fay Sinclair, convener of Fife’s education and children’s services committee, said flames could still be seen coming from the building on Monday morning.
She also said: ‘Plans started to be put in place yesterday; that was when we thought the fire was confined to the (department of additional support).
‘Obviously those are some of our more vulnerable pupils who need a lot of support and we are still getting something in place for them as soon as possible as an absolute priority.
‘Over the night the picture’s changed somewhat. The main building is now damaged and so the council’s emergency teams will be meeting this morning to start looking at what are the options here.
‘We’re talking about 1,400 pupils displaced from the school at least for the short term.
‘Dunfermline’s been a rapidly growing town over recent years, all of the schools are very full so there’s not an immediate place to move all of these pupils to.
‘The pupils have only been back for three days… not being back in this morning is going to be very hard for a lot of them.’
Firefighters tackled the blaze throughout the night and it is still burning this morning
SFRS incident commander, deputy assistant chief officer Stuart Stevens, said: ‘We have worked through the night in challenging conditions to contain this fire and prevent further spread within the building.
‘Through effective planning, we have now surrounded the fire and we are working to extinguish the flames.
‘However this remains a large and complex incident and we will remain in attendance for some time.
‘Our advice remains that members of the public should avoid the area to allow access for emergency service vehicles.’
A message on the school’s Twitter account by rector Sandy McIntosh said: ‘We are all utterly devastated by what has happened to our school.
‘I will be meeting with our teachers and school staff this morning, along with staff from the Education Service and wider Fife Council to put in place plans for our young people.
‘My heartfelt thanks go to the Emergency Services for all they have done to save our school.
‘Updates will be provided to our parents through Groupcall as soon as we have more information. School closure information will be updated on Fifedirect.org.uk.’
Deputy First Minister John Swinney also said: ‘Terribly sorry with the news @WoodmillHigh. @scotgov has been in contact with @FifeCouncil and will discuss next steps. Good wishes to all in the school community at this tough time.’
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