School to shut after evacuation drama

A Suffolk school will close tomorrow following reports of a “strong burning smell” this morning.

Will Clarke

ASUFFOLK school will close tomorrow for safety checks after it was evacuated following reports of a “strong burning smell” this morning.

Two fire crews were called to Great Cornard Middle School near Sudbury at 11.30am this morning to investigate the smell - thought to have been caused by a suspected electrical problem - coming from the roof of the auditorium.

The crews, from Sudbury, removed wall panels and used heat sensitive cameras to locate the source of the smell while pupils waited in nearby Great Cornard Upper School.

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Two further crews from nearby Halstead and Long Melford were also called as a precaution.

460 pupils were evacuated for a couple of hours. Normal school service were resumed this afternoon but subsequently it was decided to check a number of faulty lights around the school.

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A Suffolk County Council spokeswoman said: “A number of suspect light fittings have been identified as the probable cause and these are being replaced.

“As a precaution all other light fittings are being checked and as this will take some time in a building of this size the school will be closed tomorrow to ensure this work can be completed. We expect the school to be open on Friday.”

Judith Fardell, interim headteacher at the middle school, said: “There was a light fitting short and due to the nature of the school building, electrical-smelling fumes wafted through the school.

“We quickly evacuated the school and I would like to praise the response of the children and the safety precautions - it was carried out very quickly and the children behaved with no fuss.”

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