As first reported by Island Echo, firefighters were called to the Christ the King College lower campus Wellington Road, Carisbrooke shortly before 23:20 following reports of a fire within a derelict single-storey school building.
Island Echo understands that a firefighter returning home after drill night spotted the smoke issuing and alerted the control room.
The incident was very quickly scaled up from 4 pumps to 10, with crews from every station on the Isle of Wight involved in tackling the blaze. An aerial ladder platform was also drafted in alongside the Incident Command Unit, several senior officers and the service’s workshop team.
A further 4 appliances from Beaulieu, St Mary’s, Cosham and Southsea were brought over from Hampshire to provide additional fire cover overnight.
A total of 28 breathing apparatus, 2 hose reel jets, 1 main jet and the specialist COBRA equipment were used to bring the fire under control with more than 50 firefighters on scene. Positive Pressure Ventilation was used to clear toxic smoke from the building.
The fire in the roof space measured 50m x 70m.
Shortly after 04:00 this morning the fire had been extinguished and by 05:15 the incident was brought to a close with all appliances returning to their home stations – some 6 hours after the incident began.
A spokesperson for Hampshire Constabulary has told Island Echo:
“We were called regarding the small fire at an address in Wellington Road, at 11.18pm yesterday.
“No significant damage was caused.
“The site is due to be demolished soon and as such the owners do not request any further police action”.
Thankfully, no one has been injured as a result of the incident.
The Isle of Wight Council’s Cabinet member for public protection, Councillor Tig Outlaw, said:
“I would like to thank our fire and rescue service for their professionalism and swift action in dealing with this incident at this derelict site.
“Clearly the cause will be fully investigated, and the site, which was under the responsibility of contractors, will remain closed off.
“It Is not believed the incident will affect the running of the school when it reopens next term”.
The Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service are treated in the incident as suspected arson.