THE cause of a fire which ripped through a derelict school building is not likely to be known until later this week.
The blaze happened at the old Kingswood School site in Gainsborough Road, Corby, on Saturday.
Eight fire engines attended the incident and remained in place for almost three hours while about 50 firefighters tackled the flames.
A spokesman for Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, speaking at the scene on Saturday, told the Evening Telegraph: “We think it was the old science block that went up because we found Bunsen burners and gas taps in there.
“The top floor is completely gutted and the ground floor has been severely damaged by water. Two of our crews will stay here throughout Saturday, dampening down the remaining hot spots and making the area safe.
“We should be out of here before the end of the day.”
The fire brigade was called to the school at 1.15am and fought the blaze until 3.45am.
At its height there were 50 firefighters at the scene, with fire engines from Corby, Kettering, Desborough, Rothwell, Market Harborough, Burton Latimer, Thrapston, Daventry and Northampton all in attendance at the blaze..
The building’s roof has completely burned away in some places but the fire did not spread to any other blocks.
The new Kingswood School building, which sits adjacent to the old site, was not affected.
The fire service spokesman said: “The block is devastated but luckily the fire didn’t spread.
“The building is not safe at the moment so we cannot properly investigate the cause of the fire yet.
“We need a structural engineer to assess the site and after it has been made safe we will begin the investigation.”
The spokesman added an assessment of the site will probably take place after the bank holiday, with fire and police officers hoping to determine the cause of the blaze by the end of the week.
The old building has been used by Northamptonshire Police carrying out riot training exercises. The new £26m state-of-the-art school which replaced the now fire-damaged building opened last year.