A year seven pupil said ‘girls were crying’ as flames were seen ‘licking up into the sky’ when a blaze took hold of Millais School in Horsham this afternoon (Thursday March 20).
Emergency services arrived on the scene in Depot Road at around 3pm.
One year 7 pupil told the County Times: “There was thick black smoke followed by lots of flames that looked like they were spreading really quickly.
“You could smell smoke in the air and see the flames licking up into the sky. It was very dramatic.
“Lots of girls were crying and it was actually quite scary. Although we had to leave all our stuff behind and were worried about our things we were just grateful that everyone got out safely.”
Another pupil said: “It started in a classroom near me. There was thick black smoke everywhere and we could hardly breath.”
Girls were evacuated to the all weather pitch and netball courts where they stood in the cold wind waiting to be allowed home. T
The pupil added: “Everyone was calm until they saw the flames and realised the alarms were for real and not a practice.”
Most girls had to go home without their coats or bags.
The fire has been extinguished and crews are undertaking a salvage operation.