£1m blaze at school

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The Independent Online

An investigation was under way today after a fire ripped through a school causing damage estimated at around £1 million.

At its height 20 fire engines and 100 firefighters were drafted in to tackle the blaze at Brigshaw Comprehensive, at Allerton Bywater, near Leeds.

The fire took five hours to bring under control and wrecked 90% of the main building at the school.

A spokesman for the West Yorkshire Fire Service said: "We called in crews from across the area to deal with the blaze, which could be seen for miles around.

"We were alerted shortly after 1.30am but by the time we arrived the fire had taken hold and spread quickly throughout the main building."

Firefighters believe nobody was hurt but say the cause of the blaze was "highly suspicious."

"The fact that it took place at a school and at such an early hour leads us to believe it was started deliberately, although the exact cause is still under investigation," said the spokesman.

Investigators were sifting through the charred remains looking for clues.

The school is likely to be closed for some time, although contingency plans for pupils have yet to be put in place.