Arsonist strike at school
QUICK action by neighbours and firefighters stopped a Felixstowe school suffering massive damage after arsonists set fire to one of its buildings.Head teacher of Grange Primary, Sally Frost today praised those whose efforts had saved the school from being wrecked and said it had been "very lucky.
By Richard Cornwell
QUICK action by neighbours and firefighters stopped a Felixstowe school suffering massive damage after arsonists set fire to one of its buildings.
Head teacher of Grange Primary, Sally Frost today praised those whose efforts had saved the school from being wrecked and said it had been "very lucky."
It was the fourth time in a week that arsonists have struck in the town, though police were not yet linking the latest attack with the previous three incidents.
Firefighters were called to Grange Primary in Grange Road after a resident reported smoke coming from a classroom.
Two crews attended at about 3.30pm yesterday and quickly extinguished the blaze, which caused some damage to the outside of the wood-clad building and minor damage inside.
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The classroom could still be used today and part of the cloakroom area had been cordoned off. Repairs would be taking place later today.
Ms Frost said: "Fortunately, smoke was spotted by a neighbour who immediately contacted the fire service, who came very quickly.
"There was limited damage to the building but had it not been spotted in time the whole place could have gone up. We have been very lucky."
A police spokeswoman said the incident was being treated as arson and CID were investigating.
"We are not linking it at this stage to the other recent incidents, but we would like to hear from anyone with information – especially anyone who saw any people acting suspiciously in the area at the time," she said.
"If anyone saw anyone in the school grounds, hanging around nearby or running away, we would like to talk to them."
The Evening Star has offered a £1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the arsonists.
Last week three attacks were carried out on Monday evening, all within half an hour of one another and in the same area of the town – two streets away from Grange Primary.
The firebugs torched two derelict cars in a back alley behind new houses in Margaret Street, and then seven minutes later a storage shed at the rear of the Co-op store in Wadgate Road was reported on fire.
Thirteen minutes later a Volkswagen camper van was set alight just 200 yards away on the corner of Thorn Way.
It is believed a local person is responsible, especially as the cars in Margaret Street were in a little-used alleyway which only someone with extensive local knowledge would have known about.
Felixstowe police Chief Insp Andy Bushell said: "Our officers are carrying out extensive investigations into these fires and we are determined to find out who is causing them.
"We would ask people to keep their eyes and ears open and if they have any information to let us know."
n People with information should call Felixstowe police on 01473 613500.