Arsonists start blaze at school

A POLICE investigation has been launched after arsonists broke into a school and set fire to its science laboratory, causing around £35,000 damage.Firefighters were called to Colbayns High School in Pathfields Road, Clacton, just after 2pm yesterday where it appeared intruders had forced their way into the building before starting the blaze.

A HEADTEACHER of a school struck by arsonists has said the damage caused could be in excess of £100,000.

Nick Pavitt was speaking after a blaze in a science laboratory and prep-room at Colbayns High School in Pathfields Road, Clacton.

Firefighters were called just after 2pm on Monday where crews from both Clacton and Frinton used breathing apparatus while tackling the fire while dealing with a number of small explosions from the chemicals.

Yesterday police were attempting to identify suspects from the school's CCTV footage.

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The initial damage was estimated at £35,000 but the amount of specialist equipment kept in the lab means that figure could treble.

Mr Pavitt said: "I have never seen fire damage like this before, seeing it for real is pretty shocking.

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"The firefighters were very, very good, they had an excellent response time and brought it under control quickly."

He said an assessment would be made about the extent of the damage before deciding which classrooms could remain open.

Examinations had taken place in the rooms just last week, but science coursework for the GCSE students had not been damaged in the blaze because it was kept elsewhere.

Police said the blaze was being treating as suspicious and asked anyone with information to call 01255 221312 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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