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MILLAIS SCHOOL FIRE: Neighbours describe chaotic scene

JPCT 200314 Fire at Millais School, Horsham. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-140320-181504001

JPCT 200314 Fire at Millais School, Horsham. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-140320-181504001

Residents of Depot Road have described the moments after part of Millais School burst into flames yesterday afternoon (Thursday March 20).

Richard Plant, a neighbour of the school, said: “We are used to hearing sirens nearby but this one was coming up here.

“I thought it was a bit strange, so I stepped out and saw smoke billowing out of open windows on both sides and flames coming from two of the windows.

“Luckily the wind was taking the smoke away, with the girls exiting the school from the other side.”

Mr Plant also described the chaotic scene as parents arrived at the school to collect their children and became aware of the blaze.

He explained that the sudden increase in traffic made it more difficult for the fire services to reach the school.

Part of the road was also cordoned off by police.

He said: “One of the buses moved but other people weren’t being quite so carefully minded.

“One gent was trying to direct people and traffic out the way, but he was being ignored by some and questioned by others.

“By the time the third fire engine arrived there were so many cars here it couldn’t get through.”

Another neighbour, Ian McCulloch, became worried about all the girls at the secondary school, including his granddaughter Lottie.

He said: “I heard the emergency services coming and just saw the flames coming out the building.

“It was very worrying because Lottie was at school, and concerning for all the girls inside and for the damage being caused.”

 

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