Edinburgh College evacuated over candle flame

Photo Above: Fire Truck on Scene © Abdul Ezz

A fire alarm was accidentally activated at St Thomas of Aquin’s RC High School in Edinburgh last night.

Fire fighters arrived at the scene shortly after 7pm and the building had to be evacuated for around 45 minutes.

However, the Emergency services only spent a short time at the scene and decline to comment on the incident.

Facilities manager, Wayne Markham, said: ‘‘An arts and crafts teacher caused the fire activation by burning wax for a candle making class, no-one was hurt.’’

The school building, which is located in Chalmers Street close to the city centre, is used by Edinburgh College, Edinburgh Leisure and Edinburgh Council.

The facilities host a number of classes, which were disrupted for a long period of time.

Photo Above: On Scene © Abdul Ezz

David Maule, an English teacher for the higher ESOL course at Edinburgh College, said:

‘‘This is not the first time for me. It has happened before at the college at the Sighthill campus some years ago, I can’t tell you how long the occupants were outside because we spent the rest of the class’s time at the coffee shop near the school.’’

Italian student, Elisabetta Tedoldi, was attending class when the fire alarm went off.

She said: ‘‘At the beginning we didn’t know whether it was real or an exercise. We took our belongings and we went outside the building in order and tranquillity, between discomfort and disbelief, we joked about the event. Until we suddenly heard the siren approaching.’’