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Roding Primary School fire: ‘Significant damage’ closes school for at least two days

PUBLISHED: 10:03 04 September 2018 | UPDATED: 10:33 04 September 2018

Firefighters tackling the blaze which severely damaged part of Roding Primary School in Dagenham.

Firefighters tackling the blaze which severely damaged part of Roding Primary School in Dagenham.

Archant

Roding Primary School will be closed for at least two days following a devastating fire.

The blaze broke out at the school’s Hewett Road site during the night, with firefighters still on scene.

A statement on the school’s website confirmed that it would be closed “today and tomorrow at least” following the “serious fire”.

Pupils at the other site, in Cannington Road, should attend school as normal tomorrow, but the phone and email systems are down on both sites.

Nearby St Teresa’s Catholic Primary School, which backs onto Roding Primary School, is also closed today due to the fire. The intention is for it to be reopened tomorrow.

Dramatic moment when flames sweep through roof of Roding Primary School as firefighters arrive on scene. Photo:@67jrdeDramatic moment when flames sweep through roof of Roding Primary School as firefighters arrive on scene. Photo:@67jrde

The fire started at around 5am, gutting parts of the building. Nobody is believed to have been injured.

Twelve fire engines initially attended, with eight still on site, and the brigade is likely to be there for the rest of the day.

Station manager Rod Wainwright, who is at the scene, said: “Flames could be seen from some distance away and crews were faced with a serious blaze when they arrived on the scene.

“They worked very hard to bring the fire under control but given the intensity of the fire, there is unfortunately significant damage to the school.

“It is unfortunate timing that this fire has occurred just before the start of term.

“It is too soon to speculate on the cause of the fire but as soon as they’re able to, fire investigators will enter the site to start their work.”

Barking MP Dame Margaret Hodge tweeted: “I’m so sorry to see this happen, especially just before the new school year.

“My thoughts go out to the pupils and staff of Roding Primary School and to the London Fire Brigade for their work.”

Pupil Aisha Ferreira, nine, went to visit the scene with her mother Laura.

She said: “I was like how? I was like could it could only be a dream.

“I was thinking about it and it was actually on fire - I was scared and shocked.”

Mum Laura added: “A lot of parents as well as the kids are excited to start the new term and get into a routine and this has thrown it all into upheaval.

“Aisha was so excited to go back but she never would have thought the reasons she wouldn’t be able to go back was because of a fire.”

She said friends with children at the school had expressed worry about childcare arrangements due to the extra time off.

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