Firefighters battle raging inferno at Sussex school after reports of explosion (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)
According to West Sussex Fire and Rescue, 14 fire engines are currently battling the blaze which began at the Academy Selsey school just before 8am local time. Local reports say an explosion was heard at the scene.
#Selsey First call received 07:55 to a fire involving roof. Currently 14 fire engines and 2 Aerial Ladder Platforms in attendance— West Sussex Fire (@WestSussexFire) August 21, 2016
More than 60 calls received by Sussex Control Room to #Selsey school fire— West Sussex Fire (@WestSussexFire) August 21, 2016
It is not yet known what caused the blaze.
Images from the scene show thick plumes of smoke rising from the burning building.
Academy School on Fire School Lane Selsey West Sussex pic.twitter.com/A7GmnUmuPH— kin ell (@Sniffer5753) August 21, 2016
Much of a secondary school in West Sussex is now a skeleton after flames tore through the building in Selsey today. pic.twitter.com/kOe8FEegkH— Simon Clemison (@SimonClemison) August 21, 2016
In the aftermath of the fire, a police officer diverting traffic away from the scene was reportedly struck by a car, according to BBC Sussex.
The officer's injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.
Police officer directing traffic near the #Selsey fire taken to hospital after being hit by a car. Injuries not thought to be serious.— BBC Sussex (@BBCSussex) August 21, 2016
There have been no other reports of any injuries, but residents living close to the scene of the inferno have been warned to stay away and keep their windows closed.
People in vicinity of smoke from #Selsey school fire advised to stay clear of smoke stay indoors and keep windows closed— West Sussex Fire (@WestSussexFire) August 21, 2016
Crowds witness huge fire at secondary school in Selsey, West Sussex - described the 'heart of the community'. pic.twitter.com/tDjRgiDq9a— Simon Clemison (@SimonClemison) August 21, 2016
Selsey Football Club has tweeted footage of nearby thatched cottages being sprayed with foam to prevent them from catching fire.
The school was opened in 1963 by the Duke of Norfolk and it is understood that students were due to collect their exam results soon. An update on the Academy Selsey Twitter page says that alternative arrangements will be made for the collection of results.