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Youths held over school 'bomb' fire

THREE teenage boys were being questioned by police today over a suspicious fire at a city high school, which may have been started by a petrol bomb attack.

A fire investigation team were working at Queensferry High School this afternoon to try to discover the cause of the blaze.

Fire crews were called to the school at around 12.30am today after reports of a classroom on fire. Four firefighters wearing breathing apparatus extinguished the blaze. The classroom was cordoned off and classes continued as normal this morning.

However, with rumours sweeping the school that the fire had been started by a petrol bomb, pupils and staff had to be evacuated again at around 10.30am when embers re-ignited.

Fire crews dispatched another two fire engines and the fire was quickly brought under control.

The extent of the damage has not been revealed, but eyewitness reports claimed an entire English classroom had been destroyed.

A fourth-year pupil – who cannot be named – contacted the Evening News after the school was evacuated this morning.

He said: "I was in a classroom directly above and one room along from the room that had been on fire, and you could smell the smoke when the fire started again. Pretty soon you started to feel it catching the back of your throat. It was disgusting.

"One of the janitors ran into the room and told us to get out, and then there was a mad rush of pupils trying to get out of the school.

"We got outside and one of the teachers had to be sent home because of it. I think they were telling everyone who had asthma or breathing trouble to go home.

"I don't know how it started, but there are rumours going round the school that someone threw a petrol bomb into the classroom.

"There were police all around the school with police dogs, so there must have been something dodgy going on."

A spokesman for Lothian & Borders Police confirmed that three teenage boys were being held in connection with a suspicious fire at the school.

Edinburgh city council's education department has also been informed of the incident.

A council spokesman said: "We can confirm that there was a fire at Queensferry Community High School last night and police are investigating."

 
 
 

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