Huge blaze at John Ray County Infant School in Braintree

More than 30 firefighters are tackling the inferno at John Ray County Infant School, Notley Road, Br

More than 30 firefighters are tackling the inferno at John Ray County Infant School, Notley Road, Braintree. - Credit: Archant

A MAJOR blaze has devastated an infant school in Essex.

More than 30 firefighters are tackling the inferno at John Ray County Infant School, Notley Road, Braintree.

A total of 10 fire engines are now on scene after receiving reports of the blaze at around 4.20pm.

The Essex County Fire and Rescue Service incident commander on scene said: “A single storey building, measuring 70m x 10m, is 90% well alight.”

The fire service has said there are no reports of any injuries.


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Eye-witnesses have described their shock at the blaze, with reports of another explosion at around 6.10pm.

Michaela Last said on Twitter: “The whole of John ray infant school is in flames, firefighters can’t stop it and building is now starting to fall apart.”

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Hundreds of people have come out to watch the drama unfold.

Stacey Cosens added on the social media website: “John Ray Infant School’s roof has caught on fire. Large flames and plooms of smoke can be seen in the area.”

Roads in the area have been cordoned off, according to reports.

Homemade Braintree tweeted: “Actually so saddened by the news of john ray primary school. Hopefully the community will come together to help in any way they can.”

Rosie Chamberlain, who lives near the school, said: “My dad says it was really bad. The smoke did stop for a bit but now it’s clouded the sky darkly nearly over my house.”

It is not known at this stage what started the fire.

A total of 267 pupils attended the school last year, an Ofsted report said.

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