The Ararat community has been shocked within the last 48 hours due to a horrific fire, which has turned half of Ararat West Primary school into ashes. At 1:30am Saturday morning, emergency services were called to the primary school and battled the fire, but sadly the entire Grade 3-6 learning community was completely destroyed.
I was a student at Ararat West during my primary school years and it is home to memories I will never forget. You never think about the school changing from how you remember it but sadly that has happened. Waking up yesterday morning I was met with a picture of the school with orange sky, which I dismissed as a sunset from the previous night. I went back to watching Netflix but in an hours time, Mum was explaining the situation.
I was in shock for a while as I wasn’t sure what to make of the situation. I have a very big journalism drive in me so my first response was to google, message and email. With these important tasks completed, I took a moment to take in what had happened. It was horrible to think how something can be taken away in hours.
During the day ‘AC News,’ my school’s student-run news station had extensive coverage of the disaster and we heard many stories from people with all different relations to the school. We heard from witnesses, emergency service responders, students, residents who were all feeling the same emotion, a sense of loss. A school is a hub for a community and when something like this happens, it rocks it to its core.
At one stage an elderly lady who visits the school to read with the preps arrived. Tears grew in her eyes as I explained what happened. She was showing how everyone was feeling on the inside even if they weren’t showing it. True emotions really do appear in a time of devastation and there is nothing wrong with letting your feelings show.
At the time of publishing, the cause of the fire is unknown but forensic detectives were investigating on Saturday afternoon while an excavator, fencing company and the CFA waited to clean up. The school will no doubt recover as strong as ever with a dedicated team of staff who are devoted to the school and its community.