Bury St Edmunds: Police hunt school arsonist

POLICE have launched an investigation after arsonists sparked a blaze which ripped through a Suffolk school.

Flames gutted three laboratories and a classroom at County Upper School in Bury St Edmunds around 1am today.

Offenders smashed windows to break into classrooms at the site in Beetons Way before setting the fire which ripped through the single-storey building.

Police want to speak to a person seen walking away from the school along Anglian Lane at the time of the incident.

Firefighters from Ixworth, Elmswell, Wickhambrook, Newmarket and the fire service’s Ipswich headquarters arrived to find flames leaping from windows which had been shattered by the blaze.


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Group Manager Pat Dacey, from Bury Fire Station, said it was only fire separation measures which had stopped the entire block from being burned to the ground.

“This was a very serious blaze,” he said. “It completely destroyed the classroom involved. There is no doubt, without the separators, they would have lost the whole science block.”

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The fire was brought under control by 2am.

The school is closed to all pupils today except those who are sitting A-level exams as heating and services were disconnected as fire crews fought the blaze.

Mrs Neale said students had been calling in to offer their help and said the school would open as usual on Monday.

“The pupils are very proud of their school,” she said.

“We are a strong community and we will get through this.”

Anyone with information about the blaze is asked to call DS Carl Dye at West Suffolk CID on 01284 774100 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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