South East Wales

Caldicot school fire 'clear case of arson'

Caldicot School Image copyright Google
Image caption Crews from Chepstow and Caldicot were called to the school on Saturday

Firefighters say a blaze at a Monmouthshire comprehensive school was a "clear act of arson".

Crews were called to Caldicot School at 08:15 BST on Saturday after staff arriving at the neighbouring leisure centre raised the alarm.

The fire was confined to a ground floor area of the school at Mill Lane in Caldicot.

Officers say the blaze appears to have been started by intruders who broke a window to enter the building.

Fire service station manager Matt Jones said it was only the swift action of leisure centre staff the prevented a more serious situation developing.

"Had the alarm not been raised, the potential was there to do serious damage to the school," he said.

"Had the intervention not occurred, we would be looking at a different situation now.

"This was a clear act of arson and the potential to have caused millions of pounds worth of damage was extremely close."

Two crews from Chepstow fought the fire as well as one from Caldicot.

An investigation into who was responsible for starting the fire is underway.

Insp Christopher Haire of Gwent Police said officers have been gathering evidence at the scene, examining CCTV footage, and conducting house-to-house inquiries.

"Somebody has put something through the window and set fire to the blinds behind the window," he said.

"If it wasn't put out as quickly as it was, it could have spread."

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