A quick-thinking security guard kept a building fire at Aquinas College from spreading to other areas of the Ashmore school by grabbing a hose and trying to extinguish the flames.
The SMA Security officer helped contain the fire until emergency services from Southport and Hollywell arrived at the school on Edmund Rice Drive.
The fire started just after 1pm yesterday on the upstairs veranda of a two-level building, damaging the roof, walls, floor and the shade sail opposite the classroom.
There is also extensive smoke damage to the interior of the classroom although the fire did not penetrate the building.
While the fire has not been labelled arson, it is being treated as suspicious due to the origin of the fire, the lockers of the block.
Principal Peter Hurley turned up a few minutes after the fire was extinguished, visibly distressed by the incident.
Mr Hurley, who has only been at the school for six months, told the Gold Coast Bulletin he was thankful for the quick actions of the Gold Coast security guard.
“It’s pretty upsetting that we have had a fire at the school,” he said.
“We will get the area cleaned up to resume classes tomorrow as best as we can.”
He said the cause of the fire would be investigated and contractors would make the area safe before students return to school.
This week Year 12 students will be undertaking their QCS test tomorrow and Mr Hurley assured students and parents that disruptions will be kept to a minimum during this stressful testing period.
Southport Station Officer Darryl Hurley said due to possible asbestos from the old building, firefighters were decontaminated after the fire, with their gear bagged up to be sent off for cleaning.
Energex officers were also called to the scene to cut off power to the building.
Investigations into the cause of the fire are continuing.