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Chemical Fire led to full school evacuation

A chemical fire broke out in the cupboard of a school science store room on 14th December.

Henry Cort Community College was subject to a chemical fire at around 9.34am on the Friday.

Students were immediately evacuated upon alert to the fire and were subsequently sent home due to the potential of chemical exposure.

Firefighters from Fareham fire station were called to extinguish the blaze which is believed to have been started by a faulty extractor fan. However, as the fire originated in a science cupboard containing chemicals, extra precaution was necessary.

Consequently, due to the type of fire involving chemicals, the firefighters had to take into which type of firefighting equipment to use:

“We used four breathing apparatus in case of dangerous fumes and dry powder extinguisher. We used powder rather than water to prevent any potential reaction with the chemicals.”

Luckily, the science technician noticed an unfamiliar noise before the fire began and the students were evacuated swiftly after. Thankfully, the pupils were evacuated to a point which ensured they were downwind of any potential toxic fumes.

Due to the chemical pollution caused by the fire, the school has been advised to have a professional decontamination of the affected area.

Could you school safely manage your staff members, students and visitors in the event of a chemical fire? Do you have a well thought out evacuation plan instructed by a trained fire warden? Or maybe you need more information on what fire risk prevention is needed. Get in touch today, call us on 0845 302 3045 or email

Original Source: The Portsmouth News

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