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Students run for cover as 'severe' fire breaks out at Peebles High School
28 November 2019, 14:40
A huge fire has engulfed a high school in the Scottish Borders as students are left running for cover from a "collapsing roof."
Firefighters are tackling a "severe" blaze at Peebles High School in Scotland which has led to staff and pupils being evacuated
It is not known at this stage what started the fire, however all staff and students are said to be "safe and sound."
Pictures on social media show black smoke pouring out of the building which is visible across the town.
The fire service responded to calls shortly before 1pm on Thursday.
A Scottish Fire and Rescue spokeswoman said: "We were alerted at 12.57pm to reports of a fire at Peebles High School on Springwood Road.
"Operations control have mobilised six fire appliances and one height appliance to the scene, and crews remain in attendance.
"The school has been fully evacuated and all persons are accounted for."
Scottish Borders Council leader Shona Haslam advised parents not to head to the school, saying all pupils are "safe and sound."
She tweeted: "Fire at Peebles High School update. All kids are safe and sound.
"Parents please don't try and go to the school. It will restrict access for emergency vehicles.
"Group call will be used as usual for communication. More info soon."
A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: "Police were called to a fire at Peebles High School on Springwood Road.
"All staff and pupils were were evacuated. Emergency services remain on the scene."
We have just been told by SBC spokesperson that the children from Peebles are being taken to Priorsford Primary School and are to be collected from there if parents want to now.— Peebles High School Parents & Carers (@PHSparents) November 28, 2019
Outlying areas students are being taken by bus to St Andrews Parish Church until end of school.
An update on the Peebles High School Parents & Carers Twitter account wrote: "We have just been told by SBC spokesperson that the children from Peebles are being taken to Priorsford Primary School and are to be collected from there if parents want to now.
"Outlying areas students are being taken by bus to St Andrews Parish Church until end of school."
MSP for South Scotland Michelle Ballantyne called the news "devastating" and said she was "relieved" there had been no casualties.
"My thoughts are with the students and staff at Peebles High School," she added.
"I believe we owe a massive debt of gratitude to our firefighters and emergency workers who are on-site managing the situation.
"This will be heartbreaking for the staff and pupils, and over the next few days I know council officials will be working very hard to ensure that pupils' education will not be disrupted."
More to follow . . .