More than 30 firefighters called to huge blaze at former Birmingham school

Up to seven crews were at the old school premises in Clifton Road, in Balsall Heath. Credit: West Midlands Fire Service

More than 30 firefighters have been tackling a huge blaze which broke out inside a former school building in Birmingham.

Seven fire crews were called out to the old school premises in Clifton Road, in Balsall Heath, yesterday afternoon.

Clifton Road and Hertford Road were closed while firefighters worked at the scene.

Brunswick Road, between White Road and Hertford Road was also closed. Police officers were assisting with traffic management.

Firefighters remained at the site this morning to monitor the scene and dampen down hotspots, but have now left the incident.

Crews will return throughout the day and night to check for hotspots.West Midlands Fire Service said investigations into the cause continue.

Firefighters at the scene Credit: BPM Media

The site was pictured this morning with a collapsed roof and its windows burnt out.

Former pupils and teachers have told of their heartbreak following the devastating inferno which raged for hours.Teacher Dr Sarah Allen said the Victorian building was no longer in use - though the school itself still existed as Clifton Primary School where she works.

She said staff and pupils had moved to a different site nearby.The acting co-headteacher wrote on social media platform X: "We are so sad to see our old Clifton building on fire. There are many of us who have happy memories of teaching here or being a pupil."I started teaching here in 1997 and Mrs Hemming in 1995. We have lots of staff children and parents who have memories."We are still Clifton Primary School, we just moved into a building round the corner. The old building has a special place in all our hearts."

The cause of the fire is still unknown Credit: BPM Media

Former pupil Kamran Shezad said he was heartbroken after seeing the damage caused by the fire.

He said: "This is heartbreaking. My local primary school from 1987-91."Many wonderful memories of friends, teachers and the iconic building itself. The old Clifton School building has been in my sight my entire life, so this is devastating to see."Another former pupil who later went on to the teach at the school said online they were "saddened" by the blaze.

They wrote: "This video footage has saddened me this evening. I hold such lovely memories of going to the school as a child and later returning to teach as a NQT."

Firefighters remain at the scene this morning

Luke Liam, 32, witnessed the incident and described it as "chaos".

He said: "We had just left my mom's house at 1.40pm when she rang me and told me the school was on fire.

"I rushed back and it was chaos."All the roads were blocked off. There was a load of police and I got escorted back to my mom's by police."At the moment, it looks like the school building is not standing up well. The police came round asking for CCTV."

The building dates to Victorian times, built in 1878 and has been disused for several years.

On social media, users commented they had hoped to see the building brought back into use and restored to its former glory.