According to media reports, emergency rescue teams managed to help evacuate more than 840 students and employees from the structure, which houses a pre-primary, primary and middle school.
The incident has triggered criticism of how emergency situations are dealt with in Saudi Arabia, and prompted several parents to demand improved safety standards for the country’s public and private schools.
According the Website Arab News, Fouad Al-Ahmadi, a young man who contributed to rescue efforts at the school, said he was shocked by the institution’s lack of preparedness.
"I could not find even an emergency exit sign in the building. I was horrified to learn later that the exits were bolted and blocked with chains. I also failed to see any fire extinguishers", Al-Ahmadi was quoted as saying.
However, a preliminary investigation into the fire has reportedly claimed that Baraim Al-Watan was up to par. The cause of the blaze is yet unknown.