On this day in Yorkshire 1950

Third Bradford school fire in five months

The top floor chemistry laboratory at Hanson High Schools, Bradford, was badly damaged by fire last night. It was Bradford’s third school fire in five months.

Last night the cause of the outbreak was not known. an effort to clear up the mystery, fire brigade officers will to-day discuss with teachers and pupils the experiments carried out In the laboratory yesterday.

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Caretakers and cleaners helped by firemen began mopplng-up operations by the light of hurricane lamps. Later the brigade sent portable generators to give them electric light.

Water sprayed on the flames dropped through the ceilings and ran down staircases to the ground floor, but Mr. Albert Spalding, Bradford’s Director of Education, said there was thought to be no danger from the ceilings and school would resume as usual to-day.

Smoke was seen coming from the roof of the 80ft. high building two hours after the school closed. Mr. James Walker, the 51-year-old caretaker, turned off the gas and electricity supplies and ran to the top floor laboratory.

While waiting for the the brigade to arrive he sprayed the flames with an extinguisher.

Station Officer Farley said the whole laboratory was blazing fiercely when he arrived.

Flames had pierced the underdrawing to the roof slates, but water jets were turned on the seat of the blaze and It was quickly under control.

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