STUDENTS and staff huddled together in Perth Waldorf School’s hall before being evacuated after a deliberately lit fire swept up to the school’s boundary on Tuesday afternoon. The fire, in bushland set aside for the Roe Highway extension, had been thought to be under control in the morning and parents were advised it was safe to drop off their kids. But it flared up at lunchtime.

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A kindy teacher told the Herald she walked out of her class to be confronted by a frightening tower of flames and thick, swirling smoke about 100 metres across the road. The call to evacuate the class came almost immediately, and water bombers were called in to douse the school grounds. Parents representative Tracey Harris says parents were due to meet with the principal on Friday, with many concerned about the lack of communication from the school. The fire, the third in as many days in the area, had also threatened to cross into the St Paul’s housing estate, but was brought under control mid-afternoon. Residents told the Herald there had been three major fires in the Bibra Lake area in the past three years, fuelling suspicions there’s an active fire bug.

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