The principal of a Christchurch school that lost its library to fire is confident it will open in time for the new year.
The Fire Service was called to Beckenham School on Sandwich Road about 12.30pm on Thursday after an explosion was heard.
Julian White, a former pupil who lives across the road from the school, says he heard a large bang and could see a jet of flames burning vertically into the sky behind the library.
The fire is now out, but the school's library and multi-purpose rooms have been severly damaged.
Principal Sandy Hastings says she was upset by the sight that met her when she arrived, but believes classes will be able to resume on schedule on 21 January since the fire did not damage classrooms or adminstrative offices.
Ms Hastings says the school is fully insured and the Ministry of Education has contacted her to offer support.