21.8.16 Huge fire breaks out at school in West Sussex


A huge fire ripped through large parts of a school in Selsey, West Sussex, destroying most of the building.  More than 60 calls were received by Sussex Fire and Rescue Service control room about the blaze.

Fire fighters were called at around 8am on the morning of 21st August after fire broke out.  The fire is believed to have started in the roof space before quickly spreading through large parts of the school amid winds of around 25mph.

A West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: "We rule nothing out but at this stage there is nothing to suggest it was arson."  Some parts of the school escaped unscathed but a massive effort will now be made as school children are due to return to classes on September 6th.  The Academy is a mixed school for pupils aged 11 to 16.

At least 10 fire engines were dispatched to the school along with ambulance services and police in support.  Thatched houses nearby were doused with white foam to prevent them from setting on fire from floating embers. 

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service described it as a ‘major’ fire amid reports that loud explosions could be heard in the area.  Crews were sent from neighbouring Hampshire to help contain the fire's spread, while fire fighters in Surrey and East Sussex provided cover for their West Sussex colleagues.

South East Coast Ambulance Service was supporting West Sussex Fire Service, and restated advice to locals to keep windows shut and stay indoors.  No injuries were reported.


Story collated by Liz Turnbull.

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