School to re-open after blaze causes chaos

PUBLISHED: 12:00 31 January 2013

Electrical fire at Hugh Sexey Middle School. Pic: Jenny Venning

Electrical fire at Hugh Sexey Middle School. Pic: Jenny Venning

Jenny Venning

A SOMERSET school is still battling with the after effects of a classroom fire which has caused major problems with its electricity supply - but it hopes to re-open today (Thurs).

The blaze at Hugh Sexey Middle School in Blackford required the attention of six fire crews - from Cheddar, Burnham and Wells - last Wednesday morning.

The fire started in one of the classrooms in the old building and teams from the rescue service had to strip off roof tiles to reach the blaze.

Electricians are still working on the school’s main electrical cables, which were badly damaged by the flames and 10 classrooms, as well as the site manager’s house, have been badly affected by the fire.

Headteacher Jenny Venning said the problems have proved difficult to solve quickly, and in an attempt to re-open the school, a large generator has been taken on site.

Ms Venning told the Mercury everyone was evacuated from the school within minutes and nobody was hurt.

She said: “Once the cabling from the mains and the meter have been installed the electricians may then be able to get electricity to a part of the building and will then gradually phase in the other sections over a period of time.

“We have not got an estimate of the cost of the fire yet as an inventory is still being made.

“The impact it has had is significant and we have already moved around the administration and finance offices to accommodate the students.”

Ms Venning said she hopes the repairs will be completed after Easter.

While the school has been closed work programmes have been placed on the school’s website for children to continue their studies, and staff have delivered work packs to those without internet access.

Ms Venning said: “I want to say thank you to all the parents, governors and members of the community for their messages of support and encouragement. They have been so understanding.”

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