A FIRE broke out at Treetops School on Thursday afternoon.
All of the staff and children evacuated the school quickly and efficiently and there were no injuries.
The fire broke out at approximately 13:20 in the school’s drama studio.
Two members of staff heard a small explosion and saw flames. They sounded the alarm. Staff led the 270 pupils to safety, following the tested procedures.
The school caters for young people between the ages of 3 and 19 with moderate learning difficulties and autism.
The Essex Fire Service attended the scene quickly with a number of appliances. As fire doors had been closed the damage was limited to the drama studio and the main school hall. However, the extent of the damage to those areas is quite severe.
The school will remain closed to pupils until Monday March 18th. Surveyors from Thurrock Council will be attending, once the Fire Service has completed its investigations.
Early suggestions are that the fire was caused by an electrical installation but the investigation is still underway.
Head teacher, Paul Smith said: “The children realised it was a real situation and they behaved impeccably. There was no panic and the staff of the school were marvellous. We regularly have fire drills and this really paid off.
“There was a lot of smoke billowing from the roof of the school hall and we feared that it would spread. But because all of the fire doors were properly closed meant that the fire was contained.”
The children were evacuated to the sports field before going to the Treetops and Beacon Hill schools’ sixth form building.
“Everybody did exactly what you hoped they would do, “ Mr Smith said. “I am very proud of the whole staff, our neighbours at Beacon Hill and of course our pupils.”