A 15 year old boy has been charged with arson with intent after a major fire at a secondary school in Burghclere, Hampshire.

Fire-fighters from Basingstoke, Eastleigh and Overton fought the fire that broke out on 7th November as hundreds of children were evacuated from The Clere School. Crews were alerted to the fire at about 13:50 and the fire was fully extinguished by 17:19, and the school opened as usual the following day.

The crews were able to save most of the roof which is covered in solar panels and the damage was limited to 20 percent. Fire-fighters had to use compressed air foam on the building as the panels hold an electrical charge.

It was also feared the roof would collapse and a structural engineer from Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council was sent out to carry out a survey.

Dave Graham, station manager at Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Crews worked hard under challenging conditions, hindered by the solar panels, to keep the fire from entering the sports hall and stop what could have been 100 per cent damage to the property.

 “Basingstoke council acted quickly to send a structural engineer to the scene, enabling us to carry out an aggressive attack on the fire.”

Staff, children and fire fighters were praised for coping well with the difficult and challenging situation.

Detectives investigating the fire later arrested four teenagers, and on Friday it was revealed they have charged a 15-year-old, from Newbury, with arson with intent. He is due to appear at Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court.

Two 14-year-old boys, have been released on bail until December 24, pending further enquiries. A 15-year-old girl was also arrested in connection with the incident but was released with no future action.


Source: www.thisishampshire.net

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