Police investigating cause of blaze at Corby school

Northamptonshire Police are appealing for witnesses after a fire at a former school last night.

The fire broke out at the site of the former Our Lady and Pope John School, in Tower Hill Road, at about 5.30pm on Thursday evening.

Fire crews and other emergency services rushed to the scene to stop the fire spreading, which broke out at Pope John’s old school hall.

Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service attended the scene last night and will continue to investigate the cause of the fire, however, police would like to speak to anyone who may have witnessed any suspicious activity at the site yesterday afternoon.

Witnesses to this incident, or anyone with information, should call Northamptonshire Police on 101 - alternatively, information can be given anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Mick Conlon, group manager at Corby Fire Station, said: “When I came down the A6003 I could see a huge volume of smoke coming from the school.

“You could not see anything but black smoke this end of town.

“When crews first arrived here we found a fully developed fire in the school hall with smoke and flames coming through the windows.

“Our first priority was to make sure it did not spread to the rest of the site so we surrounded the fire to stop it spreading.

“When more appliances arrived, we used the pumps to start putting it out. We’re just damping down at the moment so I think we’ve done a fantastic job.”

A total of six engines from Northamptonshire and Leicestershire were called to the incident.

Mr Conlon said there was a risk of residents nearby suffering from toxic fumes and black smoke, and emergency services had advised locals to keep their windows and doors closed.

Police closed the entrance to the school as well as the entrance to Gainsborough Road via Danesholme Road.

Our Lady and Pope John School closed its doors in 2005 and the site has been disused for a number of years.

Mr Conlon added: “We were assured there was no-one on the site in danger and we’re convinced that is the case.

“A full investigation will be launched into the fire tomorrow.

“A few more appliances will stay on the site for the next couple of hours to make sure it is safe and then we will return tomorrow.”

In May, another school in the area, the old Kingswood School, in Gainsborough Road, was hit by a blaze.