1,000 pupils, staff evacuated in school fire drama

PUBLISHED: 07:02 19 January 2006 | UPDATED: 20:09 28 May 2010

SEVERE smoke damage was caused to part of Newport Free Grammar School by a fire that is believed to have been started deliberately as a schoolboy prank that went wrong. Police, fire crews and a medical emergency vehicle responded to a fire alarm at the sc

SEVERE smoke damage was caused to part of Newport Free Grammar School by a fire that is believed to have been started deliberately as a schoolboy prank that went wrong.

Police, fire crews and a medical emergency vehicle responded to a fire alarm at the school shortly before 2pm on Monday.

All 1,000 pupils and staff were evacuated when the alarms were set off, but everybody was accounted for and nobody was hurt in the incident.

The fire was found to have been started in a boys' toilet on the ground floor and is believed to have started from a toilet-roll holder that had been set alight.

Although the fire was small and there was only minor damage caused by the heat, a large amount of damage was caused by the smoke, which even penetrated the floor above.

Headteacher at the school, Richard Priestley, said: "The fire was started deliberately and further investigations are being carried out."

The investigation is being carried out by officers from the police and fire services.

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