Five boys arrested after fire destroys Lancashire school

The fire at Leyland St Mary's Catholic Technology College broke out at around 4pm on Sunday

Five boys aged between 11 and 15 have been arrested on suspicion of arson after a technical college in Lancashire went up in flames on the last Sunday of the summer holiday.

The fire at Leyland St Mary's Catholic Technology College broke out at around 4pm yesterday afternoon, resulting in 125 firefighters and 20 engines being called out to tackle the blaze.

The school, built in 1957, had no sprinkler system at its disposal. Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said the foam roofing materials in the older part of the school also contributed to the rapid spread of the fire, which was not fully extinguished until the early hours of the next morning.

"Additionally, a strong wind helped spread the fire across the school towards the sports hall," said the Lancashire Fire Service.

Lancashire Police said the 5 boys held on suspicion of arson, all from Leyland, had been released on bail until September 30 pending further inquiries.

A statement on the school’s website that the damage inflicted on the school had been “devastating”.