INFERNO: Dalby school shut as investigations continue
UPDATE 3.30PM: Dalby State School will remain closed to all students tomorrow after a fire destroyed a number of buildings early this morning.
Principal Mona Anau, in a statement released this afternoon, said the decision was made to close the school tomorrow "in the interests of student, staff and community safety".
"It will also allow emergency services teams to continue their assessment and investigation of affected areas," Ms Anau said.
"The fire destroyed the school's administration facilities, music, staffroom and two classrooms, as well as a specialist music room.
"I have arranged for a number of staff to be on site tomorrow morning to ensure that any students who arrive at school be can returned home safely."
Ms Anau expressed the collective disappointment and sadness of the community at suspicious fire police believe was deliberately lit some time before 12.30am when the first 000 call was received by emergency services.
"This is devastating for us but our school is one of the hubs of the Dalby community and we are resilient and strong," she said.
"We are a tight knit community that supports each other and we will get through this.
"Buildings can always be rebuilt.
"However, naturally we are very disappointed and we will work hard with our community and the department to recover and get back to normal as quickly as possible.
"We would ask for the community to continue to be our eyes and ears and report any suspicious activity they might have seen and report it to the police or contact the School Watch hotline on 13 17 88."
10.20AM: A piece of Dalby's history has been destroyed in a fierce fire police believe was deliberately lit early this morning.
But the damage to Dalby State School could have been worse had it not been for vigilant members of the community, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Inspector Neil Fanning said.
Insp Fanning estimated more than $1 million in damage had been done to the school in the fire, with the ignition point believed to have been in the music room.
"The police have deemed it to be suspicious and QFES fire investigators are working with Scenes of Crime now," he told The Chronicle.
"(The ignition point) has been narrowed down to a room in the music room where there is severe damage.
"The fire destroyed the music room, the administration block and one classroom, (and caused) smoke and fire damage to a second (classroom).
"There's probably $1 million worth of damage."
Insp Fanning said the administration building was about 125 years old and was one of the first buildings on the school grounds.
Multiple fire crews battled the blaze for more than three hours to bring it under control, with firefighters still working to extinguish the fire's remnants about 9am.
Insp Fanning said the community appeared in shock at the fire, with people leaving dawn Anzac Day services inspecting the damage.
"Especially now that word has spread around town, there are people around town looking at the fire," he said.
"A lot of people including firefighters went to that school.
"It's probably up to half the school that has been destroyed."
It's unclear whether an accelerant was used to start the fire in the music room which had not been under renovations.
Insp Fanning said the community's vigilance in calling in the fire had helped the firefighting effort.
"I'd like to thank the community for being vigilant and for making numerous 000 calls to report it," he said.
"People often think if they see a fire someone else has reported it but that's often not the case.
"We don't mind multiple 000 calls, and they often give us more information that we need."
Fire investigations are continuing.
UPDATE 9.20AM: Two buildings have been destroyed at Dalby State School in a fierce fire which took more than four hours to extinguish.
The administration building on the school grounds, which was one of the original structures on the premises, and a music classroom were destroyed in a suspicious fire which ignited about 12.30am.
Preliminary investigations indicate the fire was deliberately lit, with police Scenes of Crime officers beginning forensic examination at the grounds.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services reported the fire under control about 4.30am, and crews remain on scene.
Three QFES trucks from Dalby and one from Cecil Plains were called to battle the fire which is believed to have started in the music room.
Crews were still dampening down the smouldering structures after 5am.
3.40AM: A huge fire has ripped through Dalby State School overnight, causing serious damage to at least two buildings.
Emergency services were called to the scene at after 12.30am, as the administration block and the music block of the school were up in flames.
The fire fighters were still battling the flames at 3.30am.
A police officer at the scene said that they were waiting for the fire to be put out before a forensic investigation could take place.
More to come.