A fire at Yale Primary School in Thornlie has caused an estimated $500,000 damage and worry throughout the local community.
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services was called to put out the blaze on Sage Road around 11pm last night after school alarm bells were set off.
A spokesperson for Maddington Fire Station says a structural fire in the school’s computer room caused a collapse of the building and nobody was on-site during the fire.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Staff and students were informed by text early this morning school would be closed for the day.
WA Police Forensics and arson investigators from DFES were at the school early this morning.
The fire is being treated as suspicious.
Local resident Jeanie, who lives across the road from the school, says she could feel the fire erupting late last night.
“Around 10:45 we could smell smoke, so we turned off our evaporative aircon system. Me and my husband then went outside and heard popping sounds.”
Those popping sounds are thought to be the school’s computers and electronics exploding.
She says the suspicious fire is a worry for the normally peaceful community.
“We’re usually a quiet little area, so this has been quite rattling,” she says.
“We’ve been here since the 70s. Our grandkids went through the school, so it’s quite worrying to hear that it might’ve been arson.”
Another neighbor, Maristella Thompson, says her children woke her up to the fire last night.
“They were already in their rooms … and I couldn’t hear anything because I’m watching Netflix. Then, my youngest comes and says ‘Mum! There’s a fire at the front!’ and we open the blinds and we see the fire brigade, and the police.
“We didn’t see anything because it’s usually too quiet around here.”
Arson squad investigators encourage anyone with any information about the fire, or who has any CCTV footage from the surrounding area around the time of the fire, to ring Crime stoppers on 1800 333 000 or to complete a form online.