Woodborough Primary School to stay closed after fire

Image source, Devizes Fire Station
Image caption, Firefighters were called out to the school at about 18: 45 BST on Friday

A primary school badly damaged by fire will be closed on Monday as senior staff plan for how lessons can resume.

At the peak of the blaze at Woodborough Primary School in Wiltshire on Friday evening 70 firefighters were battling the flames.

The school's senior management have expressed their "sincere gratitude" for the efforts of the fire service.

Governor Phil Wigg said the fire was "devastating for the school and the wider local community".

The fire at the school, which has 160 pupils aged from four to 11, broke out in the oldest part of its buildings, which date back to the Victorian era.

Station manager Sam Legg-Bagg, from Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, said at one point there were 10 fire engines and an aerial ladder platform battling the flames.

'Very challenging incident'

"We were faced with a well-developed fire within the school building," he said.

"The initial crews faced a very challenging incident, the roof was well alight and potentially spreading to the left-hand-side of the school and adjacent properties."

He added investigations into what caused the fire were ongoing.

Image caption, Classrooms were severely damaged during the fire
Image caption, The Victorian part of the school sustained the most damage

Mr Wragg said: "After the destruction wrought by the coronavirus over the last couple of academic years, to have this now at the start of what had been a very smooth start to this academic year is very tough.

"There is a sense of thankfulness that the fire happened outside of school hours."

Image caption, The cause of the fire has not been established

In a statement released earlier, the school said: "Woodborough Primary School, its governors and the wider school community share a feeling of shock following the fire at the school on Friday night, but wish to reassure parents and pupils that their priority is to maintain the continuity of education first, and then seek to restore what has been lost.

"The school will be closed on Monday whilst ongoing plans are confirmed and implemented through ongoing dialogue with the EQUA Trust and parents will continue to be updated through existing channels."

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