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Emergency services are in attendance at a huge fire in former school in Formby

A huge fire has taken hold at the former Clarence House School on West Lane in Formby.

There are six fire engines in attendance and Police have also arrived at the scene at 1:35am and have now closed the road at 1:45am.

An eye witness said: "Flames are bellowing through the roof and you can hear timber falling!"

The soot is falling onto vehicles over half a mile away. Please keep windows closed and stay indoors if you live near to West Lane.

We will keep you updated on the situation.


An Incident Support Unit Rescue Tender appliance is now using its crane to pump water onto the fire from above.

Photos and video credit: Julie Hunt


History of Clarence House School

The school was originally built in 1885 as St Annes Industrial School for girls, a residential school run by sister Cecile Robinson and nine sisters of charity. The girls were expected to do knitting, laundry, cookery and needlework as well as general housework on top of their lessons. They made all of their own clothing as well as taking on work from outside the school.

The school closed in 1922 and was taken over by St Georges industrial school for boys.

When it was open, Clarence High provided educational placements in Merseyside for girls and boys aged 7-19-years-old who had social, emotional and behavioural difficulties.

After the decision was made by operator Nugent Care in summer 2018 that the school was no longer financially viable, classrooms were locked.

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