ROOFING WORKS on a Derbyshire school have been blamed for the school being totally destroyed by fire.
Members of the public alerted Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service to a fire in the roof of Harrington Junior School in Long Eaton at just after midday on 28 May 2020.
The school was evacuated safely while firefighters from stations in Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire battled the blaze.
The refurbishment project on the 1960s design building included re-roofing the school using hot works and despite the best efforts of roofers to contain the fire, it rapidly spread before firefighters arrived.
These types of roof works and fire can result from combustible materials hidden under the roof substrate and unprotected ceiling voids resulting in the potential for fire to develop and spread quickly.
Incident commander Dean Gazzard, from Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service, said “Workers carrying out the refurbishment of the school did everything they could to contain the fire and prevent its spread before the arrival of firefighters.
“Fire crews worked in extreme heat and challenging conditions, but despite everyone’s efforts, the school was totally destroyed by the rapidly spreading fire.
Earlier this year, the National Federation of Roofing Contractors joined Zurich Insurance in calling for thermal imaging cameras to be used by roofers. The cameras can be used to detect hidden heat developing underneath the roof that could go on to cause a fire.