Pupils safely evacuated after fire breaks out at Hamnavoe school

Children and staff at Hamnavoe Primary School had to be evacuated on Monday morning when fire broke out in the building.

All 43 pupils were safely removed after the alarm was raised at 9.12am. Three fire appliances, from Lerwick, Scalloway and Sandwick, were called to the scene.

The school is likely to be closed for several weeks and arrangements have been made for the pupils to attend Whiteness Primary School meantime.

The fire is reported to have started in the switch room and to have damaged the gym hall. All damage has been confined to this area, which was 25 per cent fire damaged, according to the fire service, and all the school’s electrics were knocked out.

Eighteen fire fighters were involved in the incident and extinguished the fire with two hose reel jets and eight breathing apparatus cylinders. They also used ladders and small hand tools to cut away tiles in the hall. Although the fire was out by noon, fire officers were still at the school on Monday afternoon investigating the cause of the blaze.

Head of schools Helen Budge said the evacuation plan worked “wonderfully” with the children assembling outside. They then went to the hall and were picked up by parents.

Mrs Budge said the bus would pick the pupils up as normal on Tuesday to take them to Whiteness, which has space both in the classrooms and the dining area to accommodate the extra pupils. She said she was “very grateful” to the school for doing this.


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