Police probe major fire at Hartlepool school

1
Have your say

A major fire caused severe damage to a school in Hartlepool today.

An annexe of Rift House Primary School, in Masefield Road, was reported to be ablaze at about 6pm.

Emergency services attended, and several roads in the area were closed to allow firefighters to tackle the blaze.

It is believed to be the nursery building which has been affected, and the crews managed to stop it spreading to the main school.

Dave Turton, group manager with Cleveland Fire Brigade, said six fire engines were turned out to the scene.

The building was well alight when they arrived and their priority was to stop the flames spreading to the rest of the school.

Firefighters tackle the blaze at Rift House Primary School in Hartlepool. Pic: Frank Reid.

Firefighters tackle the blaze at Rift House Primary School in Hartlepool. Pic: Frank Reid.

He said: “We were called out at about 6pm to a developed fire in the annexe at Rift House Primary School.

“The priority was to stop it spreading to the other building. We expect to be here for at least another couple of hours.

“We are advising local residents to keep their doors and windows closed, as thick smoke was billowing from the blaze.

Fire crews from Hartlepool, Middlesbrough and Thornaby stations attended the blaze.

Firefighters tackle the blaze at Rift House Primary School in Hartlepool. Pic: Frank Reid.

Firefighters tackle the blaze at Rift House Primary School in Hartlepool. Pic: Frank Reid.

Sats tests were due to take place at the school this week, and it is not yet known how they will be affected.

However, parents have been contacted by text to tell them that the school will be closed tomorrow, apart from Year 6 pupils.

They are advised to attend school at 8.45am, and line up on the path outside the main office.

The fire, fanned by a gusty wind, was still burning at 8pm, and several road closures remained in place.

Firefighters tackle the blaze at Rift House Primary School in Hartlepool. Pic: Frank Reid.

Firefighters tackle the blaze at Rift House Primary School in Hartlepool. Pic: Frank Reid.

Local residents have been asked to close doors and windows if possible.

These include Kipling Road at its junction with Masefield Road, Catcote Road at its junction with Masefield Road, and the Chesterton Road junction with Walpole Road.

Police have thanked motorists and people who live in the area for their patience and cooperation.

An investigation into the cause of the blaze will take place. Contrary to reports on social media, there have been no arrests.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Cleveland Police on 101.