FIREFIGHTERS who dealt with a serious fire at a high school in Rudheath have been praised for their efforts.

More than 50 firefighters from across Cheshire spent several hours tackling the fire at the University of Chester Academy Northwich (UCAN), which was reported at approximately 6am on Sunday, February 25.

The fire caused a substantial amount of damage to the building but, by working closely with the school, firefighters were able to salvage vital equipment from the building.

Incident commander Paul Binyon from Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “On arrival at the scene it became apparent that this was a serious fire which had already caused substantial damage to the building.

“We linked in with the school’s principal, Cath Green, as soon as possible and used the academy’s business continuity plan to identify a number of essential assets within the building.

“From there, we then undertook a targeted plan to salvage those assets wherever possible. 

"These included the schools IT server along with a large quantity of books and coursework which had been submitted by pupils.”

Mrs Green said: “I would like to thank all the members of the emergency services who worked tirelessly to tackle the fire at UCAN on Sunday.

"Their swift response and support has allowed us to recover vital and important assets from the building.

"I would also like to thank the ongoing support from parents and the community of Northwich”

At its height more than 50 firefighters were in attendance at the incident, using 12 fire engines and two aerial appliances.

The final crew left the site at 9.30am on Monday, February 26 - more than 24 hours after the fire was initially reported.

Mr Binyon said: “The firefighters who attended this incident worked tirelessly to bring this fire under control and as a result of their hard work, dedication and teamwork they were able to protect a large amount of equipment from the building using a variety of salvage techniques.

“Hopefully, this will help to minimise the impact that the incident has on pupils at the school, many of whom are preparing to undertake their GCSEs - one of the most critical times in their educational development.”

The school has offered further 'heartfelt' thanks to parents, members of the public, the staff at Rudheath Primary Academy, the Co-op food store in Middlewich Road, Victoria Road Primary School and Barclays UK at Gadbrook Park.