Hundreds of students trapped inside hall as blaze forces school into lockdown

Yahoo7, Liam Croy and Agencies

Hundreds of kids were stuck inside a hall after a fire being treated as suspicious jumped the grounds of a school in Western Australia.

The fire spread to the grounds of Perth Waldorf School in Bibra Lake on Tuesday afternoon as children and teachers took shelter inside the school hall.

Students in a lockdown at a Perth school have recorded the blaze heading closer to the grounds.

Students can be heard exclaiming in shock in a video taken by a student from inside the hall.

Students have reportedly returned to classes and arrangements were being made for parents to collect them from Adventure World, next door.

The North Lake fire is controlled but not contained. Picture: Simon Hydzik/Seven News
Picture: Simon Hydzik/Seven News

One student said the teachers 'did a great job of looking after them'.

Incident controller Peter Norman said the fire was a flare up from one of six fires that started since Saturday night.

He said the blaze came within 500 metres of Perth Waldorf School and it was too late for the students to be evacuated from the building.

Police arrived at the school to ensure the safety of the 400+ students inside the school hall.

"It moved very rapidly, about 6km/h, directly towards the school and we had to evacuate 500 students into the school hall," he said.

The fire started at about 6.15am near the intersection of Progress Drive and Gwilliam Drive in Bibra Lake.

It was contained by 9am but flared again just after midday.

A recorded message from the school said no one would be allowed to leave until the way was clear.

One of the students, believed to be a 14-year-old boy, was treated by St John Ambulance for smoke inhalation after showing asthma-like symptoms.

There was no longer any running fire from the blaze although a watch and act alert remained for the area on Tuesday afternoon as crews extinguished spot fires.

Huge, billowing smoke clouds could be seen nearby, as helicopters arrived to waterbomb the blaze.

An advice warning was already in place for people in an area bounded by North Lake Road, Forrest Road, Coolbellup Avenue and Cordelia Avenue in nearby Coolbellup.

DFES has issued a watch and act warning for the southern part of Coolbellup in the City of Cockburn. Picture: Simon Hydzik/Seven News


The cause of the fire was unknown but it was being treated as suspicious.

Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.