FIREFIGHTERS have spent the night dampening down the damaged buildings at Peebles High School.

Crews remain at the Springwood Road secondary this morning.

An assessment of the damage won't be conducted until the site is handed back to Scottish Borders Council by the fire chiefs later today.

Council chief executive Tracey Logan will be at the school this morning.

She told us: "At this time this remains a Scottish Fire and Rescue Service-led incident and we continue to work closely with them and Police Scotland.

"It is not appropriate to speculate on the cause of the fire.

“Until the fire service has completed its work and the necessary investigations are carried out access to the site will be restricted.

"Once the school is handed back to the council we will do our best to quickly assess the damage, caused not only by the fire but also smoke and water, and look at arrangements for the coming days and to return belongings to pupils and staff."

Emergency services were called to the school just before 1pm yesterday following reports of a fire in the art department.

All pupils were evacuated safely from the buildings.

Ms Logan paid tribute to the quick-thinking staff as well as the firefighters.

She added: "I would firstly like to pay tribute to the firefighters for their tireless efforts.

“I would also like to praise the staff and pupils for the way in which they dealt with the incident yesterday and the prompt evacuation of the school.

“The community of Peebles responded quickly too, and I’d like to thank all those businesses and residents who offered and provided their support to the school and to the emergency services.

"That support is greatly appreciated."

Education officials will work throughout the weekend to make plans for continuing the pupils' education and details are expected to be announced over the next few days.