Colin Hall, Shealagh Walker and Theresa Rich Hoyle members of the community panel for the Oxley Secondary College site future planning . Photo Ric Frearson
Colin Hall, Shealagh Walker and Theresa Rich Hoyle members of the community panel for the Oxley Secondary College site future planning . Photo Ric Frearson

Asbestos risk after abandoned school fire

A FIRE at an abandoned school in Brisbane's south on Sunday prompted police to warn residents to stay indoors due to a risk of asbestos exposure.

Police officers door knocked the area around the old Oxley State High School site on Seventeen Mile Rocks Rd, Oxley after a fire broke out just before 3.30pm.

Black smoke billows from a fire at the abandoned high school in Oxley, on Brisbane's southside. Picture: Cerae Mitchell
Black smoke billows from a fire at the abandoned high school in Oxley, on Brisbane's southside. Picture: Cerae Mitchell

Residents were warned to close windows and stay inside as the old buildings likely contained asbestos which could have been transferred to the air during the fire.

Fire crews contained the blaze and no one was injured.

Local mother-of-two Cerae Mitchell said she decided to evacuate her children from the area after smelling the smoke.

"There was a real burning plastic smell and a big dark black cloud of smoke.

"I don't have any airconditioning so we couldn't shut ourselves indoors so I decide to take the kids and leave for the afternoon," she said.

Ms Mitchell said there had been concern that the grounds of a nearby kindergarten would be contaminated but luckily it was located upwind from the fire.

"The lady who runs the kindy has been advised it will be okay," she said.

 

Ms Mitchell said video of a group of young people allegedly starting a small fire near the buildings had been posted to a local Oxley community page and handed over to police.

"There's a video of some people apparently lighting a small fire and putting a chair on the flames," she said.

There has been ongoing debate about what the site should now be used for, with the buildings now derelict.

"They're only really used by graffiti artists," Ms Mitchell said

"I think everyone in the area would like to see something done to the space. I would love it to be a park," she said.

Police have declared the building a crime scene and are treating the fire as suspicious.

Black smoke billows from a fire at the abandoned high school in Oxley, on Brisbane's southside. Picture: Cerae Mitchell
Black smoke billows from a fire at the abandoned high school in Oxley, on Brisbane's southside. Picture: Cerae Mitchell
News Corp Australia


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