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New images show devastation after high school blaze

Pupils and staff were evacuated as crews tackled the flames at Peebles High School last week.

Peebles High School: The secondary went up in flames.
Peebles High School: The secondary went up in flames. Scottish Borders Council

New images have emerged showing the damage at a fire-hit secondary school in the Scottish Borders.

Pupils and staff were evacuated as fire crews tackled the blaze at Peebles High School shortly before 1pm last Thursday.

Up to 70 firefighters were at the scene at the height of the blaze, with many remaining well into the Friday to dampen down remaining hotspots.

Scottish Borders Council made a "swift decision" to close the school until after the Christmas break.

Emergency: Up to 70 firefighters were at the scene at the height of the blaze.
Emergency: Up to 70 firefighters were at the scene at the height of the blaze. Dan Tarrant

Pupils will return to "face-to-face formal teaching" on Monday, December 9, with S1-S3 being taught at alternative locations in Peebles.

However S4 to S6 pupils will have to travel to locations in Galashiels - nearly 20 miles away.

All pre-Christmas prelim exams have also been postponed until the new year.

The old gym at the high school was scheduled to be a polling station for the general election on December 12.

Anyone due to cast their vote there has been told to go to Priorsford Primary School, which will now be closed to its pupils that day.

Damage: The school has been closed until after Christmas.
Damage: The school has been closed until after Christmas. Scottish Borders Council

Council convener David Parker said: "This has been a devastating incident for Peebles High School's pupils and staff and the local community.

"However, without the magnificent efforts of firefighters, it could have been significantly worse in terms of damage to the school estate.

"Crews worked tirelessly to contain the fire for almost 24 hours, with up to 70 firefighters on the scene, highlighting the extent of the fire.

"During and in the aftermath of this challenging incident, the community of Peebles has also stepped forward to support the emergency services and the school.

"We have also seen offers of assistance from businesses, including a local hotel who has agreed to host Peebles High's senior dance this week.

"On behalf of the council, I thank all who have provided generous support during this extremely difficult incident for Peebles' community."

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