School in Dewsbury damaged after roof catches fire

A fire destroyed part of Dewsbury’s St John Fisher Catholic High School this morning.

A classroom was completely gutted and the roof badly damaged at the Oxford Road school, but fire fighters caught the blaze before it spread to the rest of the building.

Crews were called to the school just after 8am following reports that the bitumen-coated roof was on fire.

Three fire engines attended and used breathing apparatus and hose reels to get the blaze under control in around 40 minutes.

Watch commander Richard Carr, from Dewsbury fire station, said thermal imaging equipment was used to make sure the fire had not spread around the roof timbers.

He said: “One classroom was completely gutted. We also had to take down a small part of the roof to make sure the fire had not spread.

“We were called at 8.08am this morning, when there was smoke coming from the roof structure. Fortunately the caretaker was there and had keys to let us in and put the fire out.

“The building has internal fire doors which prevented the flames from spreading.”

Mr Carr said crews were at the scene for around three hours. The cause of the blaze was being investigated but was not thought to be deliberate.

Mr Carr added: “I can’t speculate as to what it was caused by, but we don’t think it was malicious. There will be a full fire investigation.”