Terrifying footage has emerged of the moment a fire tore through a school in Melbourne’s east, with police now on the hunt for a man that might have been involved.
Victoria police were told an unknown man attended the Heatherwood School on Springvale Rd in Donvale in the city’s eastern suburbs about 1.30pm on Saturday.
Police said the northwest corner of the building was set on fire from inside, with the man last seen exiting the school and fleeing on foot along Springvale Rd.
Fire Rescue Victoria quickly dispatched 11 fire trucks manned with 44 firefighters to battle the blaze, but not before it destroyed five classrooms and a canteen.
A Fire Rescue Victoria spokesperson said the fire was brought under control by firefighters within an hour, with the community warned of smoke in the area.
“Ambulance Victoria is on scene to support the firefighters, (but) there are no injuries,” a spokesperson said.
“The building has suffered a significant roof collapse. The cause of the fire is deemed suspicious.
“FRV crews will remain on scene for some time to continue extinguishing the fire.”
Police are now calling on the public to help locate or identify the man, who is described as being caucasian, 180cm tall with a thin build, dark hair and aged in his 30s.
Police said the man was wearing a black hooded top, a black and white paisley bandana covering his face and may have been carrying a black Nike backpack.
Liberal MP Keith Wolahan took to social media on Saturday to off his “deepest sympathies” to the Heatherwood School community after the blaze.
“Thank you to the emergency service responders who are doing everything they can to control the fire. We will be here to help you heal and rebuild,” he wrote.
Anyone who witnessed the incident or with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers.