Warning to stay out of derelict Buckhaven High School following fire

Fire damage to the old Buckhaven High School. Pic: George McLuskie
Fire damage to the old Buckhaven High School. Pic: George McLuskie

Police and fire chiefs have appealed to the public to consider the dangers of the now derelict Buckhaven High School following a fire.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service was called to the blaze just after 9pm on Sunday night.

Six fire appliances from Methil and Kirkcaldy attended, as well as a height appliance, needed as the fire was on the third floor of the building.

Damage to the building was clear to see from Methilhaven Road on Monday, with a lot of smoke damage and a number of windows broken.

Pupils returned to school at Levenmouth Academy as normal the next day.

Stephen Thomson, station manager at Methil Fire Station, encouraged local families to consider the dangers posed by the building, which is in the process of being demolished.

He said: “There are a number of hazards presented by this demolition site, including asbestos, holes in floors, and a number of sharp objects.

“I would ask that parents encourage their children to stay well away.”

The former Buckhaven High is currently being dismantled.

But it is a slow and controlled process because of the amount of asbestos within the structure, and the consideration given to what materials can be recycled.

Community inspector Tom Brown added: “We would like to stress the dangers of entering the building and any person caught doing so will face charges.

“Due to the demolition work the old school has become increasingly hazardous and anybody entering the site is at risk of serious injury.

“Security has been increased but any person entering or attempting to enter will be prosecuted.

“Five people have already been reported to the Procurator Fiscal for offences including theft and vandalism since the closure of the school.”

Councillor Tom Adams, chairman of the Levenmouth Area Committee, appealed to parents to be aware of where their children were going.

“We’ve had a lot of discussion with police about the security of the building.

‘‘We need parents to be aware of where their kids are and what they’re doing.

“The building is highly dangerous, with asbestos inside, and incidents like this simply push back the work being done to safely demolish it.”

Fife Council says it will now have to look at stepping up security at the building.

Alastair Drummond, project manager, said: “We are disappointed that, despite warnings and additional security, certain members of the public are continuing to put themselves at risk by entering this building.

“Following a previous incident we stepped up security and the building is monitored by CCTV cameras.

‘‘We will look again, however, to see if there is anything more we can do.

“The dismantling of the building will be fully complete by the end of the year as scheduled.”

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