Old laptop believed to have sparked huge fire at school

Pupils and staff were evacuated from Park Primary School in the Highland town of Invergordon after the blaze broke out.

Council staff have been banned from using old laptops after fears one may have sparked a huge blaze at a primary school.

Pupils and staff were evacuated from Park Primary School in Invergordon in the Highlands after the fire broke out shortly after 10am on Monday.

More than 50 firefighters have tackled the blaze, with nine fire engines, a height appliance and several supporting resources sent to the scene.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) said the damage to the school is “significant” and firefighters remained in attendance on Monday afternoon.

The evacuated pupils and staff were taken to Invergordon Academy and parents were asked to collect their children from there.

There were no reports of any injuries and Highland Council said everyone is accounted for and safe.

Now, Highland Council has said an old laptop may have been the source of the blaze and has banned staff from using these models.

In a statement, the local authority said: “We are awaiting the outcome of Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s investigation into the fire but we understand it might have originated from an old laptop.

“As a precaution we are asking all staff using these older models not to use them until further notice.”

The statement added plans are in place to provide temporary school accommodation at Invergordon Academy for the primary pupils and staff before the end of the week.

There are 186 children at Park Primary School, including 32 nursery pupils, and 343 pupils enrolled at the academy, which has a capacity of 550.

Highland 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.

“All our schools have regular fire drills in preparation for this type of incident. We are relieved that everyone is accounted for and is safe.

“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.”

A parents’ event will be held at Invergordon Academy on Tuesday evening to discuss plans for the primary school pupils.

SFRS area commander Rab Middlemiss said: “This has been a very challenging incident and crews have been working throughout the day in difficult conditions to bring this fire under control.

“We have attempted to surround the fire as much as possible, tackling the flames from outside and inside the building to try to 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.”

He added: “I would urge members of the public to stay clear of the area to allow access for the emergency services.

“My thanks go to our partners and the community for their ongoing support, the quick actions of school staff in ensuring a safe evacuation and our firefighters for their continued efforts and dedication.”

The service said an investigation will take place in due course but there are not thought to be any suspicious circumstances.

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code