Fire at Millais school

Photo by Calum Landau

Depot road, Horsham has come to a close after a fire broke out at Millais School, Horsham, this afternoon (Thursday, March 20).

West Sussex Fire and Rescue are currently attending the scene after the alarm was raised around 3pm. The fire is on the third floor of the old building in the girls toilets and a storage area.

More than 30 firefighters are tackling the blaze at Millais School, there are no reported injuries. All staff and pupils were safely evacuated prior to the arrival of fire crews. Firefighters from Horsham were at the scene within 7 minutes of the alarm being raised. On arrival smoke was seen issuing from the roof so four additional crews were immediately requested. Crews are fighting the fire using 8 breathing apparatus wearers, 6 jets as well as an aerial ladder platform so the blaze can be tackled from above.

Eyewitness and parent May Pearson told The District Post: “I turned up at the school and saw black billowing smoke then flames. My first thought was is my child out. I spoke to a member of staff who said all of the children have been evacuated.”

Paul Fullylove, manager of the band Departure from Normal was on his way to a meeting at the school when the fire broke out. He told The District Post: “We went to discuss a charity concert we’re putting on there. We parked up and looked up and smoke, we ran round to the front of the school and saw the whole front of the building was on fire. It was quite horrendous. The head told us the girls were all safe and accounted for.”

Drummer for Departed from Normal tweeted: “some of our best fans go to that school, we’re very concerned.”

There are currently four fire engines on the scene, parents have been advised to remain on Depot Road, the children will be released from the back exit of the school.

A spokesperson for West Sussex Fire and Rescue said: “The fire has been confined and has not spread.” The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

Parents have been asked to pick up their children from Highlands Road.

More to come as the story develops.

21 comments on “Fire at Millais school

  1. Yer I go to that school and the smoke was big and girls where crying. It was scary yet no one was injured so I’m just happy that there is no school tomorrow

    • I can gladly Say that millais school has done a very good job on keeping the pupils as calm and safe as possible. As a y10 millais student, im proud of how we dealt with the issue and hope we can solve this problem shortly. However the y11’s are desperate for revision and extra learning for their subjects chosen as there are many on coming GCSE exams, shortly taking place within the school. I hope the school can repair the damage asap and we can go back feeling safe and ready to learn at a hardworking school like millais.

  2. Very selfish comment about no school tomorrow. Millais School has served girls in Horsham for many years and many have left with good qualifications and life skills through the dedication of the teaching and management staff. Such a terrible thing to happen. Also think about the poor students whose work may have been lost in the fire, especially so close to GCSE ‘s. A good wAy to use your day off might be to see if you can help in anyway.

  3. Lots of people were crying and it was a pretty bad site. I knew it couldn’t be a fire alarm as it was 10 minutes until home. However, the builders carried on working. Unfortunately my form room was most likely among the flames. Just glad everyone’s alright.

  4. My daughter is in year 7 of Millais and waits in the Library for half hour after school, as I collect my son from another school. I was concerned when she didn’t answer her phone after 3 times of trying and felt terrified as I drove down Depot Road, to see all the blue lights and smoke. The Police assured me the whole school had been evacuated & my daughter would be at the fire meeting point. Around Highlands Road, cars were gridlocked, girls were crying and it had a sense of chaos, as well as thick smoke. Thankfully a friend saw my daughter and kept hold of her, calling me to say she was safe. A terrifying moment made safe by the emergency services and calm approach of the teachers. Hopefully my daughters belongings including her phone and keys will be OK. She was unable to eat her dinner tonight so feeling shock I expect.

  5. look it wernt me ok i didnt do it! but it was scary i go there it was cool at first untill i saw the flames then i realised this was real… but finally 4 years at being in that school something awesome and interesting happened bet this wont happen again for a long time.

    • Chloe, I’m sure all the poor students who have lost their coursework and their final GCSE art pieces won’t find this ‘interesting’ or ‘awesome’. It’s not awesome that people had to run through smoke, or that people had to leave their belongings behind including inhalers. Can you even begin to imagine what the school will have to do to get everything back to normal? This is not awesome, this is a fire.

    • Chloe are you a complete moron? Would you be saying the same if someone had died? I went to Millais for 5 years and nothing awesome really happened during my time there either, you don’t go too school expecting something “awesome” to happen…Grow up and realise that that is the most ridiculous statement. You will also be sadly disappointed when you start work too, as nothing generally “awesome” happens when you are at work either and you’ll be working for a damn sight longer than you would have been at school. I’m sure your parents are really proud of you.

  6. It was so scary! I was literally just sleeping through chemistry when the bell went and I wen out side thinking it was a drill and when o saw the smoke I was so scared! I’m glad everyone’s safe tho

  7. I wasn’t there but 1 second i was just in my garden lazying about and the my school bells went off i looked at the time and it ws not 3 clock yet i thought sank had must off happed the i saw black smoke in the air so i shouted to my mum and said my school is on fire the about 2 mins later there were many fire engiens going up my road then i looked all over rhe web and out out that my school was on fire and then my friend texted me saying fite luckly everyone is alright :'(


  8. Can’t believe this has happened, I’m a year 11 student at Millais and my art room has been completly burnt, the other two with 50:50 smoke and water damage. Can’t believe we have all lost our art work that we put so much time and effort into.

    • I know I’m a year 9 student and my form tutor is miss Watson which is an art room and all I could think about was the gcse art work. U year 11 must of put so much effort in to your work. I hope that It can all be sorted out also my form tutor wasn’t in school so she probably got a phone call saying all your gcse work and you form has been burned down also she has a daughter that goes to millais school.

  9. as a yr7 student i am so shocked i have been at millais for under a year. my mum works at the school and was in her office that was under the fire. loads of girls were crying and the teachers did a really good job of ensuring girls were safe.

  10. When we heard the fire alarm coming from the school, we all thought it was a practice – but soon after everyone noticed that there was thick black smoke coming from one of the classrooms from the top floor. We started crying and were scared that all our belongings were going to get burnt. It started to get bigger and we noticed there were proper bright flames, we thought we might never come back…

  11. I was in the library having a maths lesson when the alarm started I was listening to music on my phone at the time when the alarm suddenly started everyone was confused along with teachers we were taken to our fire assembly points on the astro turf from outside all you could see was smoke coming from the third floor of the main school building many girls were crying while everyone was using any available phones to call parents all that was going through my mind was is everyone safe and that I was in that same building and that some of my closest friends were on that top floor in the classrooms near the fire.

  12. my daughter is in yr 7. I was to meet her at school. she had sense to walk to her grand parents. she was very upset and kept on saying about her stuff left at school but she was glad every one was safe. I just think the staff and children did very well in getting out and being safe.

  13. I am glad to say that everyone is safe and the teachers dealt with this very well. It is sad that a lot of damage has been done and girls lost their work. At least we are all alive thanks to teachers and the firemen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *