Breaking news…Firefighters are currently tackling a fire at St Thomas More Roman Catholic Academy in North Shields. The blaze was reported in the early hours of today (Tuesday). At the scene, more than 20 firefighters are attempting to put the fire out.
Five fire engines are currently at the school. The blaze is said to have been reported at around 2am. No injuries have been reported.
School now closed
The headmaster, named in the local press as ‘Mr Watson’, initially said the school would be open as normal today – even though firefighters are still on the scene.
Mr Watson released a statement to the local press that said: “Early this morning there was an isolated fire in part of the school building. As the building was empty nobody was at risk and early indications are that it started accidentally.
“As the fire occurred in part of the building that we can seal off, school will be open as normal.”
However, he has just released a second statement: “…the fire alarm system and telephone line in most of the wider school has unfortunately been compromised. This was only discovered when a fire alarm engineer came on site. We therefore have no alternative but to close the school for all students today, Tuesday 10th July.
“As soon as we have anymore information we will let you know. Any students who are already in school have been informed and those that can, will make their own way home. I am sure you understand that we need to put the safety of students and staff first.
“If this is a problem for any of the students we will keep them in school until other arrangements can be made.”
“I sincerely apologise for this very late notice but hope that you understand how fluid the current situation is.”
‘Smoke and flames’
Eyewitnesses have described ‘a lot of smoke and flames’ coming from the building. However, as indicated in the statement, the blaze is limited to an isolated part of the school site.
It is not yet known if the school was fitted with automatic sprinklers. Further updates on this breaking news story is available from the local press in North Shields.
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