Firefighters respond to the blaze in Warwick East State School.
Firefighters respond to the blaze in Warwick East State School. Chris Lines

Principal's heartache as blaze tears through classroom

WARWICK East State School principal Marina Clarke is heartbroken after a huge blaze tore through her beloved school this afternoon.

Ms Clarke, fellow staff and students were forced to evacuate during lunch playtime.

Fortunately no one was injured.

Ms Clarke said it was believed the fire started in an empty classroom at lunch and spread to the admin building.

"We noticed smoke from the west-end of the building and immediately started the evacuation procedure," she said.

"I cannot believe how quick the trees in front of the building went up."

Staff were forced to use hand bells to alert students to the evacuation, as the fire had spread to the area which contained the school-wide fire alarm.As the fire was in the admin building which also contains the school-wide fire alarm.

Ms Clarke said the evacuation procedure went smoothly.

"Thank God it was lunchtime," she said.

The principal said she has no idea how the fire started.

"I am devastated by this, just devastated."

Warwick firefighters are still dampening the area to ensure it does not reignite.

Warwick East State School was the first school established in Queensland, with a history that dates back to 1850.