Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 12°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs are coming. Find out more about

Pigs Gone Wild

here.

Neighbours attempted to stop ‘fierce’ blaze following arson attack at Exning Primary School

04 September, 2015 - 11:26
The scene of a fire at Exning Primary School. Headteacher, James Clark.

The scene of a fire at Exning Primary School. Headteacher, James Clark.

Archant

Two members of the public tried to stop the blaze at Exning Primary School before the fire brigade arrived.

The scene of a fire at Exning Primary School.The scene of a fire at Exning Primary School.

Keith Miller, landlord of the White Swan pub, which is near the school, and neighbour Rob Ellis were the first on the scene of the fire which broke out in the early hours of this morning.

The youngest pupils had been due to start their first day of school today, and for others they were returning after the summer break, but the primary was forced to remain shut.

The fire - which is being treated as arson - is believed to have begun in a shed, which has been completely destroyed, spreading to the main school building, which dates back to the 19th century. There, a year one classroom has been severely damaged.

An investigation by police and fire service officers has now determined that the fire was started deliberately.

The scene of a fire at Exning Primary School.The scene of a fire at Exning Primary School.

Mr Miller and Mr Ellis acted on instinct, filling watering cans with water from an outside tap and using sand from a bin intended for bad weather.

Mr Miller said: “I used to be a policeman. Your instinct is just to get stuck in and just do it. I feel really sorry for the ones [children] who were due to be starting today.”

He added: “The community are up in arms about it. It’s a village and a lot of adults went to this school when they were kids. It’s horrible.”

Mr Ellis, who has lived next to the school for 20 years, described how alarms alerted him to the blaze.

He said: “We got the flames down quite a lot and then we could see there were flames inside the classroom.”

He said they were trying to stop the blaze spreading, but the fire was “really fierce”.

Seven fire crews were dispatched to the fire after several calls from the public at around 12.50am.

Firefighters from Newmarket who were first on scene immediately requested back-up from other crews, including an aerial ladder platform.

Wearing breathing apparatus, firefighters were able to use two jets to break up the fire and had the blaze under control by 2.47am.

One crew remained at 4.10am damping down the scene in Oxford Street.

A message on the school’s web site this morning said: “We regret to inform you that due to a fire at Exning Primary School in the early hours of this morning we will not be opening today. We will update you when we have further information.”

Police officers were sent to the scene to assist with road closures.

Anyone who witnessed any suspicious activity in the area, or who has any information about this incident, is asked to contact Bury St Edmunds CID on 101 quoting reference NE/15/1501.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

 
	A few pictures from day one of the 2015 Suffolk Show.

There’s an buzz of excitement in Ipswich this morning, and that can only mean one thing – it’s Suffolk Show day.

Crowds enjoy the sunshine on the first day of the Suffolk Show 2015.

It’s showtime! Today marks the start of the most popular event in the Suffolk calendar as Trinity Park opens its gates for the Suffolk Show 2016.

Matthew Brett freshens up the hay for Theberton Herd cows at the Suffolk Show.

This week we have a team of reporters and photographers at Trinity Park bringing you full coverage of the highlight of the Suffolk agricultural calendar - the Suffolk Show.

The last chance for Bury St Edmunds residents to ask questions about their post office’s future takes place in the town today.

Essex fire crews

More than 100 firefighters look set to be cut from the frontline in Essex as the public backed the “least worst” option of brigade reform.

Police investigate the scene of a murder on Old Road in Clacton.

A man has admitted killing a Clacton woman in her home.

Hollesley Bay

Hollesley Bay prison’s Independent Monitoring Board Chairman has pledged continue with her duties despite being ostracised by other board members.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24