Sussex secondary school will be closed tomorrow after major fire

Picture of the fire at Millais School in Horsham by Alex Osuch

Picture of the fire at Millais School in Horsham by Alex Osuch

First published in News
Last updated

A Sussex secondary school will be closed tomorrow (Friday) after a fire this afternoon.

Six fire crews battled the blaze which broke out on the third floor of Millais School in Depot Road, Horsham just before 3pm.

The 1,500 pupils and staff at the girls' school were evacuated from the building.

On the school website headteacher Leon Nettley wrote: "We have made an initial assessment of the damage and will know more tomorrow.

"At this stage I have decided to close the school on Friday 21st March to give time to assess the situation and make contingency plans.

"I am aware that pupils will have left various possessions behind but at this stage there is no access to the school and so please wait for further instructions on this issue.

"You will appreciate that we are doing everything we can to minimise the impact on your daughter’s education and your support is greatly appreciated.

"Please note there is NO ACCESS FOR PUPILS TO THE SCHOOL SITE but please keep monitoring the school website for updated information."

He added: "I am glad to say that thanks to the responsible way the girls responded, everyone was evacuated safely and the fire brigade responded very quickly to minimise the damage."

At its height, more than 30 firefighters tackled the blaze.

Year seven pupils Chloe Parrott and Molly Holder, both 12, were in an RE lesson when they were evacuated.

Molly said: “There was lots of smoke in the corridors. I knew it wasn’t a fire drill.”

The fire was brought under control by 5pm, but firefighters remained at the scene for several hours.

The cause of the fire, believed to have broken out in toilets or a storage area, and the extent of the damage are still being investigated.

Steve Clack, Horsham fire station manager, said: “We are still carrying out investigations which we expect to last about 24 hours.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Sussex Police on 101 or email


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