Close call for school as fire laps at gate

WHAT A DAY: Terri Samuel was relieved to hug her two daughters, Jayde, 9, and Maddison, 12, on Tuesday after their school was evacuated during a wild fire. Fire crews responded quickly to the blaze and kept several properties safe.
WHAT A DAY: Terri Samuel was relieved to hug her two daughters, Jayde, 9, and Maddison, 12, on Tuesday after their school was evacuated during a wild fire. Fire crews responded quickly to the blaze and kept several properties safe.

IT was Terri Samuel's worst nightmare when she heard a fire was lapping at the boundary of her children's school.

"I just had to get them," she said.

Parents were called to St Stephen's Lutheran College to collect their children as 11 fire crews worked to control a non-suspicious blaze that had broken out between Kirkwood and Gladstone Benaraby Rds about 11.45am on Tuesday.

"I sped just a little bit. I was so worried," Terri said.

"I was pretty shocked and immediately went down to the school and I took them home."

Her daughters, Maddison, 12, and Jayde, 9, understood the seriousness of the situation, but were worried about missing out on class.

"The oldest didn't want to miss out on the work her class was going to be doing," Terri said.

"I almost took (her) back to her class she was so upset.

"The younger one just wanted to be at school during lockdown."

Principal Ian Marks said the school had moved early to carry out an evacuation.

"We were contacted by the firies that there was fire and communicated with parents as soon as we could," he said.

Teachers moved school bags into classrooms, he said, until the smoke became too heavy for them to move around.

"We made provisions for lunch time, brought the students together in the hall and then moved them on our buses to the PCYC," Mr Marks said.

Police sergeant Wayne Butcher said blustery winds had presented some difficulties for the emergency services, but looking after the school and the students had remained everyone's priority.

The fire was contained by 5pm, with crews remaining on the site last night to strengthen containment lines and continue to backburn.


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