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High school to remain closed until next week after fire

Fire crews were alerted to blaze at Peebles High School around 1pm on Thursday.

Severe: Firefighters are tackling the blaze
Severe: Firefighters are tackling the blaze 1Rigz

A school will be closed until next week as firefighters tackle a blaze that led to pupils being evacuated.

Fire crews were called to Peebles High School in the Scottish Borders shortly before 1pm on Thursday.

More than 40 firefighters battled the blaze, which the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) described as "severe".

The council said all pupils and staff were safe and accounted for but the school will be closed until Tuesday 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 said: "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.

" Pupils who live in the town were taken to the nearby Priorsford Primary School, while pupils who use school transport were taken to a local church and then on to their buses.

Safe: Staff and pupils were 'accounted for'
Safe: Staff and pupils were 'accounted for' Dan Tarrant

Scottish 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."

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."

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