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.