Local firefighters were called to the site of Heelands School after an alarm was raised by a 6-year-old pupil yesterday morning (10/05).
6-year-old Felisha was on her way to the toilet when she noticed a burning smell coming from one of the teaching areas. Felisha immediately informed a teacher, who was able to evacuate the rest of the pupils as the fire alarm system went into action.
In a statement released to parents, the headteacher, Lesley Barnard, hailed the pupil as a 'heroine' saying: "At around 11am, one of the high light fittings in the year 1 shared area set alight. Fortunately, Giraffes, Zebras and Lions were outside for morning break and the fire was noticed by a Lions pupil who had gone back into school to use the toilet.
"Incredibly sensibly, she immediately raised the alarm with a nearby member of staff as the fire alarm system went into action, what a heroine!
"The school was evacuated in minutes, the fire brigade arrived (to great excitement) and the fire was put out."
The damage done to the building is described as mostly cosmetic, with the walls and carpets being the worst hit.
The responding fire firefighters had to turn off all services (gas, electricity, water etc) in order to douse the flames with their hoses. Due to this, there was no internet access or phone lines available for the school to initially contact parents. One of the teachers, Mrs Philips, had to return to their home in order to tell parents what had occurred.
Today (11/05), an electrical survey will be carried out in order to ensure that power can be safely restored to the area. The fire alarm company will also be attending the site to reset the alarms and replace the sensors which have been damaged by the smoke.
However, the school makes it clear that there is flexibility to move some classes to different areas of the school, which should hopefully allow for pupils to return to school as soon as possible.