Highlands & Islands

'Old laptop' may have started blaze at Highlands school

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Media captionMajor fire at primary school in Invergordon

An old laptop may have caused a major fire at a Highlands primary school, according to the local council.

All children and staff were safely evacuated from Invergordon's Park Primary before the blaze engulfed the school, causing "significant" damage.

Highland Council said it was waiting for the result of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service's probe into the fire.

But it has asked staff not to use older models of laptops suspected of sparking the blaze.

Emergency services were alerted to the fire at about 10:00.

At its height, the fire service had more than 50 firefighters, nine appliances, a high reach appliance and several support vehicles at the scene.

Park Primary's 176 pupils and 32 nursery children are to be given temporary school accommodation at Invergordon Academy.

Image caption Seven fire appliances and a high reach vehicle were sent to the scene
Image copyright Rachel Hendry
Image caption Smoke from the blaze was visible from a train passing the scene

Highland Council said all children and staff were safe and well and pupils were being cared for at Invergordon Academy while awaiting collection by parents.

A council spokesman said: "The extent of damage to the primary school building and the source of the fire is not yet confirmed.

"This appears to be an isolated incident and will be subject to a full fire investigation by Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

"As the extent of the damage is not yet known further details about potential temporary school accommodation will be issued to parents in due course."

Image caption The emergency services were alerted to the fire at about 10:00

Council leader Margaret Davidson said: "We would like to praise the quick, safe and efficient way staff were able to evacuate the building once the fire was discovered."

She added: "We appreciate that this has been a traumatic event for the children and staff and we will be putting the necessary support in place for anyone who needs it."

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus were involving in battling the blaze.

Area commander Rab Middlemiss described it as a "very challenging" incident to bring under control.

He said: "We have attempted to surround the fire as much as possible, tackling the flames from outside and inside the building, to try and prevent further damage.

"The damage to the school is significant, however we will remain in attendance for as long as it takes to ensure this fire is fully extinguished."

Image caption Highland Council has described the fire as an "isolated incident"

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