Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Woodmill High School fire: 'No part of school untouched by fire'

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Media captionMore than 80 firefighters were involved in tackling the blaze

Every part of a Fife high school at the centre of a major blaze has been damaged in the fire, according to council officials.

They said Woodmill High School in Dunfermline would be unable to re-open in the "short to medium term".

The wing that was least damaged contained an assembly hall and sports halls - but no classrooms.

A 14-year-old appeared at Dunfermline Sheriff Court earlier charged with wilful fireraising to danger of life.

The Kirkcaldy teenager, who cannot be named, made no plea and was bailed. He is due to appear at a later date.

More than 80 firefighters worked through the night to extinguish the school blaze, after the alarm was raised on Sunday evening.

Some fire service staff travelled from across the country to help bring the "protracted and challenging" incident to a safe conclusion.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service remained on the scene for almost 48 hours before handing full control of the building back to Fife Council on Tuesday.

"No part of the building is left untouched by fire", said the local authority's executive director Carrie Lindsay.

The school will be closed in the "short to medium term" due to a lack of classrooms - but that means weeks rather than months, according to the council.

Image caption Woodmill High School is currently closed

Ms Lindsay said the council was working "flat out" to find alternative locations to educate Woodmill High's 1,400 pupils.

"There are lots of things to take into account, such as pupil numbers, available spaces, timetabling across year groups and transport," she added.

"We've had lots of offers of help, all of which we're grateful for, and all of which are being explored to find the best possible solutions.

"I hope to be able to give parents and our young people some more information about short-term arrangements tomorrow (Wednesday)."

She said Woodmill High teachers were meeting at nearby St Columba's High School.

They are putting together homework packages which will be available on the school's website and they are trying to arrange practical sessions for senior pupils in local community facilities.

Image caption Woodmill High School has been ravaged by the fire

Support centres providing free school meals to Woodmill High School pupils have been set up across Dunfermline.

David Ross, Conservative councillor for Dunfermline South, said the community was in "disbelief" about the incident.

"They are emotional and some very upset as the school was the heart of the community and used for other activities out with school hours too," he added.

"I hope something is arranged soon for the children as its not fair that their education is disrupted. I'm deeply saddened as its a great school with good exam results."

Meanwhile the Fife community has been rallying around.

Locals have raised £6,500 by crowd funding to help replace damaged equipment and the Visit Dunfermline Facebook page said it had been inundated by offers of practical help.

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