WITH plumes of smoke overhead, hundreds of children fled Toolooa State High School on Wednesday.

A fire in Squire Street came dangerously close to the school, businesses and homes.

"I noticed a fire down the back. I rang Triple Zero and the guys turned up," Fort Knox Storage manager Cathy Lehmann said.

"I thought the sheds were on fire at first," she said.

Sections of the back fence turned purple due to the intense heat of the flames.

Embers came over the fence and a garden inside the business premises caught fire.

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Firefighters came to the rescue and got the garden fire under control.

Mrs Lehmann said nothing was damaged in the storage sheds as far as she knew.

A police media spokeswoman said that although police hadn't yet made a determination, all fires were treated as suspicious until proved as otherwise

"Investigations take time and unless there's something really obvious like empty petrol can at the scene, it can take a while to determine the cause," she said.

The fire in Squire St, Toolooa approaches Queensland Mechanical and Engineering.
The fire in Squire St, Toolooa approaches Queensland Mechanical and Engineering. CUTLINE CREDIT CREDIT ID

Police were conducting traffic diversions at the scene of the fire.

Transquip supervisor Ray Manitzky said there was minimal damage at the business.

"A couple of trailers had melted lights but that was it," he said. It was estimated that about $500 worth of damage was caused.

"I was about the call the fire department when they arrived," the transport company manager said.

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Four Queensland Fire and Emergency Services crews fought the large grass fire in the vicinity of Dalrymple Drive and Squire Street, Toolooa.

The fire, which started around 12.30pm, was posing no threat to residential properties.

It was brought under control at 1:50pm.

The Toolooa fire burning uncontrolled.
The Toolooa fire burning uncontrolled. Andrew Backhouse


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