FORTY firefighters and five fire engines were called to Verulam School in St Albans at about noon to deal with a major fire that broke out on the first floor.

Firefighter Jon Smith told the Review: "On arrival the crews were faced with a fairly major fire. Smoke was coming from the roof and the whole corridor was smoke logged.

"The crews managed to extinguish it fairly quickly."

Pupils and staff were evacuated and are currently in a safe position on the school site near to the sports hall. The firefighters are making the scene safe and investigating the cause of the blaze, which at the moment is a mystery.

They are working with police and a representative from Hertfordshire County Council is on the scene to assess the nature and scope of the damage.

Reporter Alex Lewis, who is at the school in Brampton Road, said: "Firefighters are climbing over the roof and dousing it with water to prevent any chance of it breaking out again."