Firefighters attended a fire at St Mary’s School in Darley Abbey, Derbyshire with six fire engines at the scene being supported by 2 aerial ladder platforms and a control unit. On arrival firefighters were met with a well-developed fire.
Sean McClafferty, Chief Executive of the St Ralph Sherwin Catholic Multi Academy Trust, said “The fire has caused extensive damage to the building. As a result, it is not safe for staff and pupils to enter. The school will be closed from Monday. Images from the site show a burnt out shell.”
Countering rise in school fire incidents
Two days later, firefighters from Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service (DFRS) were attending another school fire, this time at Ravensdale Infant School, situated at Devonshire Drive, Mickleover, Derby, United Kingdom. Due to smoke from the fire, local residents were asked to keep windows and doors closed and to avoid the area.
A joint investigation into the cause of this fire concluded that the fire was deliberately set and a police investigation is underway. As is the joint fire investigation into the cause of the fire at St Mary’s School.
Mandatory need for sprinklers in UK schools
Currently, sprinklers are mandatory in new school buildings in Scotland and Wales, but not in England and Northern Ireland
As is often the case with school fires, the damage is more than just structural, the trauma for pupils and teachers can be extensive, the loss of materials and memories are irreplaceable together with the social networks which are broken due to relocation in different areas.
Currently, sprinklers are mandatory in new school buildings in Scotland and Wales, but not in England and Northern Ireland. The UK government is currently reviewing Building Bulletin 100 (BB100) and the BSA wants the government to explicitly maintain and enhance the ‘sprinkler expectation’ in the revised BB100 so that fewer schools are damaged and destroyed by fire.
It is recommended that the British Government should make property protection a consideration for the Fire Safety Building Regulations, in order to effectively protect all buildings of significant social and/or economic value from fire.