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Fire Service praises school in Hereford

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Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service have praised staff at a school in Herefordshire following an incident at the school yesterday morning (Monday 20 September).

Two fire crews from Hereford were called to St Mary's RC High School in Ledbury Road, Lugwardine shortly before 11am and on arrival found that a teacher had used an extinguisher to put out an electrical fire in a junction box. Children were allowed back into the school following further checks by electrical contractors.

Just after 12.30pm, crews were called to the school for a second time to reports that several electrical appliances were failing and that there was a smell of burning at different locations within the school. Two crews from Hereford attended and found electrical faults in at least three separate locations within the school premises. All pupils at the school were evacuated, the electricity supply was isolated and the school's management team made the decision to close the school for the rest of the day so that the problem could be properly investigated.

The school is expected to remain closed today (Tuesday 21 September) until the issue has been fully resolved and staff can be completely confident the building is safe for use.

Station Manager Neil Piggott said: "We were really impressed with the way in which St Mary's handled this issue.

"The teacher who dealt with the first fire used the correct type of extinguisher for an electrical fire, bringing it under control very quickly and almost certainly preventing more major damage and disruption to the school longer term.

"The evacuation of the children from the school was also very impressive. They left the premises twice within the space of a couple of hours, both times leaving quickly and sensibly, and credit must be passed to the head and teaching staff for their calm approach and reassurance."

He said there was the potential for far more serious consequences if the school hadn't been occupied when the fire broke out.