UPDATE: West Sussex school fire began in ceramics room

The fire at a West Sussex secondary school this evening began in the ceramics room.

The Weald School on fire yesterday evening
The Weald School on fire yesterday evening

The Weald School in Station Road, Billingshurst, confirmed this on its website. It added that no-one was injured in the blaze which began at 7pm this evening. The school, which teaches approximately 1,700 pupils, will be open again in the morning. Read the original story here.

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service have now put out the fire, but a spokesman said the building was heavily smoke-logged and needs to be ventilated.

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They could not confirm how much of the building was damaged at this stage, nor could they confirm if the fire was started accidentally or deliberately.

Luke Gausden, Isabella Spicer and Kiran Sandhu, all 12, at the scene of the fire at The Weald School in Billingshurst. Picture: Anna Khoo

Sussex Police have been notified, the spokesman said.

The nearby Billingshurst Leisure Centre was evacuated as a precautionary measure, which was hosting the Altantis Swimming Club at the time.

Members including Luke Gausden, Isabella Spicer and Kiran Sandhu, all 12, were given foil blankets while they waited outside.

Luke’s mum Julie Gausden said: “It’s just a great adventure as far as they’re concerned.

“We couldn’t hear [the fire alarm] in the pool so the first we knew about it was when they told us to get out. It was only when we got outside that we could hear it.

“To be fair, the staff [at the leisure centre] were excellent.”

The fire service confirmed no-one was trapped in the school, and that four appliances were sent to the school.

Four breathing apparatus and two hose reels were used to put out the fire, which was on the ground floor of the school building.

Fire crews are still in attendance.

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