Fire struck Magdalen College School on Tuesday evening requiring a full evacuation of adjacent St Hilda’s college. Flames risked spreading from the sports building at Magdalen College school to the Christina Barratt building at Hilda’s next door.
Cherwell understands the fire started at around 7.30 PM in Magdalen school though the cause has yet to be determined. Fire engines were quick to arrive at the scene, one arriving within 15 minutes and another three inside the hour. A strong police presence soon arrived as hundreds of passers-by gathered to photograph the blaze. A police helicopter was also seen circling overhead. By 9.30 twelve fire engines had arrived on the scene.
As fire alarms sounded across Hilda’s college, students streamed out onto the Cowley round-about and surrounding streets. Students returning to college found the lodge shut and the area cordoned off. Parts of Iffley road have also been shut-off.
Fire crews were seen entering the college with chainsaws and heavy hose equipment whilst two large pumps and a hydraulic platform were erected outside the blazing building. Cherwell understands water was pumped from the Cherwell river by over sixty fire fighters from the Oxfordshire Fire Brigade.
The Thames Valley Police and the Oxfordshire Fire Brigade could not be reached for comment.