TEACHERS have praised the behaviour of pupils after a ferocious blaze struck a secondary school in St Albans this morning.

Forty firefighters battled the blaze in the first floor classroom of the school in Brampton Road at lunchtime today.

Economics teacher Larry Spence, said: "I was teaching in one of the huts, I couldn't have been any further away so I don't know exactly what happened, but we got all the kids out quickly and safely. They all behaved really well."

Pupils and staff were evacuated to an emergency meeting point near the sports hall. One 14-year-old pupil, who did not want to be named, said: "I was in a science lesson and I saw smoke coming through the windows. "It was like a volcano, there was a lot of smoke and flames coming through the roof.

"There was people rushing around and then we got onto the back field and lined up to have our register taken.

"The fire brigade were here in a few minutes. They soon had all thee windows open and then I saw water running down the roof."

Firefighters managed to bring the flames under control using an aerial ladder platform, six breathing apparatus and two hose jets an hour after receiving the call at 11.50am.

Fire investigators are at the scene trying to establish the exact cause of the blaze.