Firefighter hurt in school blaze

A FIREFIGHTER had to be treated in hospital after being injured in a fire at a disused school.The Dovercourt-based firefighter, who is in his 30s, was given a stitch in his hand after cutting it on a window.

By Annie Davidson

A FIREFIGHTER had to be treated in hospital after being injured in a fire at a disused school.

The Dovercourt-based firefighter, who is in his 30s, was given a stitch in his hand after cutting it on a window.

Crews were called to the former Harwich County Primary School in Main Road at 10.38pm on Tuesday.


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Three fire engines, one from Manningtree and two from Harwich, went to the school.

Sub officer Jason Whitnell said that six of the firefighters had to go into the building to check for people inside.

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However, no-one was found inside the school. Two seats of fire were found, one in a cupboard and one on a carpet and the crews used two hose reels and a thermal imaging camera to put out the fire.

The entire building was heavily smoke-logged and about 5% of it was destroyed.

It was thought the fire had been started deliberately but there will not be a police investigation as it is a derelict building.

Sub officer Whitnell said the injured firefighter, who is from the Harwich area, was taken to Colchester General Hospital.

The full-time firefighter was given a stitch in his hand to repair a damaged vein, he said.

He suffered the injury while opening a window at the school to try and clear smoke from the building while searching for casualties and is expected to be off work for a short period of time while his injury heals.

A spokesman for Harwich police confirmed the fire was not being investigated.

A spokeswoman for Essex County Fire and Rescue Service said that, between April 2005 and April 2006, 59 firefighters were injured in the line of duty who needed at least three days off work.

A further 237 suffered minor injuries which did not require time off work.

Essex County Council confirmed yesterday the school had been sold to a company called Eastwood Properties in November 2005.

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