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School blaze probe after fire causes extensive damage

More than 50 firefighters battled the blaze as it ripped through Braeview Academy in Dundee.

Police are investigating a fire which caused extensive damage to a school in Dundee.

Emergency services attended Braeview Academy at 9.40pm on Tuesday and more than 50 firefighters worked through the night to tackle the blaze.

Fire crews managed to get the flames under control by 4am on Wednesday and one appliance remained at the school to ensure the area was safe.

Emergency services attended Braeview Academy overnight.
Emergency services attended Braeview Academy overnight. STV

No-one was injured but the school has been closed and Dundee City Council is working on plans to house pupils elsewhere later in the week.

Children and families convener Stewart Hunter said the fire will have an impact on the whole community and thanked the emergency services for their work.

The councillor added: "We are awaiting a full assessment of the damage to Braeview Academy. However, this was a major fire and clearly that damage will be extensive.

"Pupils are at home today as a result, and our first priority now is to minimise the impact of this sad incident on their education.

"We have contingency plans in place for situations such as this. Meetings are taking place this morning to put those plans into action, with a view to the young people being back in a school building very shortly."

Some Braeview pupils are taking part in the opening of the V&A Dundee museum this week and the school tweeted that teachers will still be in touch to arrange rehearsals.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue service are investigating the blaze alongside Police Scotland and officers have appealed for information.

Inspector Chris Boath said :"The building was extensively damaged and enquiries are ongoing to establish the cause of the fire.

"A joint investigation with Scottish Fire and Rescue Service will take place in due course.

"Thankfully no-one was injured as a result of the fire.

Probe: Police are investigating the cause of the fire.
Probe: Police are investigating the cause of the fire. STV

"We are keen to speak to anyone who was in the area around the time of the fire or anyone witnessed anything suspicious to come forward.

"Anyone with any information should contact us on 101."

Dundee City East MSP Shona Robison said she was "deeply saddened" by the fire.

She said: "As a parent, I fully understand that this will be very upsetting for pupils, parents and staff, and my heart goes out to them all.

"I have been in touch with Dundee City Council about this and have asked for an update on the situation once they're in a position to do so.

"The priority now needs to be to ensure minimal disruption to the education of our young people."

Dundee City Council later confirmed the school would be closed "for some time".

A spokesman said: "We are determined to minimise disruption to the pupils' education, and are looking at all the options available. Within hours of the fire, discussions were already taking place with a focus on short-term measures to get the young people back in classrooms.

"Finding the best solution for our 570 pupils is not straightforward, and there are issues to consider around finding suitably equipped classrooms, access to learning materials and canteen facilities, to give just a few examples.

"Taking all that into account, we are working hard to create a bespoke timetable for the coming weeks, using other school accommodation in the city.

"Putting that in place will take some time, and unfortunately means Braeview pupils will remain at home this week and into next."

Council representatives met with staff on Wednesday morning and said a meeting to update parents and carers will be organised for next week.

The spokesman added: "The staff, the young people and the wider residents of the area form a tight Braeview community, and that spirit and resilience will be more important than ever as we pull together for the benefit of our pupils after this sad incident."

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