Investigation to be launched after Thornton Grammar School, Bradford, evacuated following fire

Thornton Grammar School. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

Thornton Grammar School. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

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FIREFIGHTERS were called to a fire which was started deliberately at at a large school in Bradford today.

Around 1,500 pupils were evacuated from Thornton Grammar School on Leaventhorpe Lane after a “small” blaze was discovered in the boys’ toilets on the ground floor just after 12pm today.

Watch Commander Adrian Pilling, of Fairweather Green Fire Station, said: “The fire produced a significant amount of smoke. I sent two firefighters wearing breathing apparatus into the toilets to extinguish the fire and search the area

“They extinguished the small fire, which turned out to be toilet rolls, and searched the toilets and confirmed there was no-one in there. Then we used a fan to blow the smoke out. Three fire engines attended, from Fairweather Green, Odsal and Shipley.

“The evacuation of the school was carried out very efficiently before we arrived and the staff were very calm and helpful on our arrival.”

Watch commander Pilling added: “A person will have set fire to the toilet rolls and that will be investigated by the school, ourselves and the police jointly.

“The smoke cause a significant amount of damage. One of the toilet rolls was in a plastic holder which would give off a lot of acrid smoke.”

A message to parents from headteacher Rob Browning has been posted on the school’s website. It reads: “I would like to inform you that we have had a small fire this lunchtime in our boy’s toilets. The school was quickly and efficiently evacuated and all students and staff registered and accounted for before the Fire Brigade arrived.

“The fire has caused superficial damage to the boy’s toilets which will not affect our normal operation as a school. School will end at 2:30pm today as usual and will open as normal tomorrow.”

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