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Second suspicious fire at primary school

PUBLISHED: 20:09 02 September 2002 | UPDATED: 12:34 03 March 2010

YOUNGSTERS are being blamed for starting a fire in a wheelie bin at an Ipswich school.

The fire was the second suspicious blaze in the space of three months at Handford Hall Primary School and Saturday's fire spread to the boiler room in the school building before fire crews could put the bin blaze.

YOUNGSTERS are being blamed for starting a fire in a wheelie bin at an Ipswich school.

The fire was the second suspicious blaze in the space of three months at Handford Hall Primary School and Saturday's fire spread to the boiler room in the school building before fire crews could put the bin blaze.

School caretaker Drina Deeks said she had emptied the rubbish bins the day before the fire and it appeared someone had taken paper from a nearby recycling bin, put it in the rubbish bins and then set light to it.

"Somebody seems to have something going for us. There is a gas station next to the boiler room and we would have been in big trouble, and the surrounding area, if that had gone up," she added.

Fire spread from the bin to the roof of a boiler room and there was also slight damage to an office.

At the height of the fire, which started at 2.46pm, a plume of black smoke could be seen billowing over west Ipswich and was spotted by swimmers using the town's Broomhill open-air pool.

Patrick Dacey, sub-officer in charge of the fire-fighting operation, said: "The fire was deliberately lit by unknown persons and it was lit in the bin compound. This is a suspicious fire and we know from the caretaker that nobody was working here today.

"The fire did look much worse than it was because the plastic products caused the black smoke. The quick actions of the crews prevented the fire taking hold of the school."

In May, a fire broke out in the evening in the school's former nursery, a portable building being used for storage. A window at the back of the building had been wrenched open before the building was burned to the ground.

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