Police looking at CCTV in probe into blaze at the University of Chester Academy in Rudheath, Northwich

IT classes continue despite roof blaze

IT classes continue despite roof blaze

First published in News

SCHOOL head Matthew Wood told the Guardian this week that it is “business as usual” despite a major blaze at a computer suite last week.

Two of the four computers rooms at the IT suite at the University of Chester Academy in Rudheath are still out of action following the suspected arson attack in the early hours of March 25.

More than 30 firefighters tackled the blaze, which started at about 5.30am in the computer suite and spread through the roof space.

Police are treating the fire as malicious, and are asking the public to contact them if they have any information which could help their investigation, which will include examining CCTV footage.

Matthew Wood, the academy principal, said disruption to examinations because of the fire was expected to be minimal.

The fire had been spotted by a local resident who noticed the smell and smoke coming from a burning bin, and called the emergency services.

“The academy contacted all the parents and students with the Keep Kids Safe alert system before 8am, and with careful planning the principal Mr Wood was able to reopen the academy the next day,” added the spokesman.

“There was damage to a large roof section and extensive water damage to the IT suite.

“The cost of the damage is still being professionally assessed.”

Mr Wood said yesterday that two of the four computer rooms were still out of commission.

He said: “These are important areas for e-learning at the academy, but through creative organisation and the goodwill of staff it is expected that there will be minimal disruption in the run-up to examinations for year 11.”

He said police were still investigating the fire, and it was hoped that their inquiries would lead to information about “the perpetrators”.

He urged anyone who had information about the fire or who had started it to contact the police.

“Staff and students are understandably shocked that their academy has been targeted in this way,” he said.

“However we are pulling together, and it is business as usual.”

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