Three teenage boys arrested following huge fire at Manchester high school

The boys, two aged 15 and one aged 14, remain in custody after being arrested on suspicion of arson

Alexandra Sims
Saturday 16 April 2016 20:39
Cromwell High School in Dunkinfield, Greater Manchester
Cromwell High School in Dunkinfield, Greater Manchester

Three teenage boys have been arrested on suspicion of arson after a huge fire ripped through a school.

At its height more than 10 fire engines attended the blaze at Cromwell High School in Dunkinfield, Greater Manchester, which started at around 2:20pm on Friday.

Firefighters spent nearly 24 hours at the school to stop the flames reaching three other schools which share the same site.

Crews remained at the school on Saturday to dampen down the severely affected areas, including the ground floor and the roof.

Police said the boys, two aged 15 and one aged 14, remained in custody after being arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life “following information from the local community”.

As nobody was in the building at the time no injuries have been reported.

Firefighters said they used an aerial ladder, multiple jet hose reels and breathing apparatus to bring the fire under control.

The nearby Yew Tree Primary School, St Mary’s RC Primary School and Oakdale School were unaffected, while Astley Sports College suffered minor damage, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said.

Group Manager Phil Nelson, who was in charge of the incident, said: "Firefighters worked really hard to save as much of the building as possible.

"Thanks to the hard work of our crews we hope the school can resume lessons as soon as possible."

In a statement, Cromwell High School said it will be closed on Monday and Tuesday, adding that survey and salvage work is on-going.

Depending on the damage to the electrical and heating systems the school may remain closed for the whole week.

The statement said: “This is a major challenge for our school community but we will overcome it through our shared commitment to our pupils.

“We have made sure that all the support services recognise the additional pressures that this will place on families and they are all determined to support our school to the full.”

Inspector Kris Jura of Greater Manchester Police said: "We'd like to thank the public for the information they have given us so far which has resulted in us making three arrests.

"Our investigations continue and we are working closely with our fire and rescue colleagues to establish the full circumstances of the fire. Thankfully no one was in the building at the time and so no one has been injured."

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