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19 September 2013, 17:52
Firefighters are telling Heart 500 students have been evacuated from a school in Hampshire after a major fire.
It started in the boiler room at Winton Secondary School in Andover this morning - and spread to the roof.
Nine fire engines were sent to the school and all staff and students had to be evacuated.
Group Manager Dan Tasker said: "The first crews to arrive were met with a challenging situation of a confirmed fire plus the evacuation of 500 pupils.
"By using our compressed air fire-fighting system, due to limited water supplies, the fire was suppressed sufficiently to allow additional resources to arrive and deal with this incident.
"The initial and subsequent crews worked diligently to prevent the fire from spreading to further parts of the school."
Fire crews have been praised by the leader of Hampshire County Council for their response to the fire.
Councillor Roy Perry said: “I have been very concerned to hear about the incident at the school today, but we have been reassured to learn of the swift action taken by Hampshire’s firefighters in tackling the blaze, and the commendable actions of the school in promptly assuring the safety of all the pupils and staff.
“The safety and education of Hampshire’s young people will always be of concern to us, and so our Property Services and Emergency Planning teams are providing assistance and support to the school to help them make it safe, and secure the site appropriately. We are ready to provide further help if necessary and if requested.
“We are well aware of the impact that such a significant incident can have on the wellbeing of pupils and their learning, but I’m sure that the school will make a quick recovery to minimise any disruption.”
An investigation will be carried out into how the fire started.