Fire breaks out at Queen Ethelburgas

MORE THAN 50 firefighters and ten fire engines attended a blaze at a local school earlier this week.

Queen Ethelburgas College at Thorpe Underwood was the scene of a fire on Monday night which took the fire crew more than six hours to completely put out.

Fire crews from Knaresborough, Boroughbridge, Harrogate, Acomb, Ripon, Easingwold, Selby and Skipton attended and an aerial turntable ladder had to be used to get the blaze under control.

Automatic fire alarms were set off at 9.30pm in the main fire calling station and Knaresborough fire crew was one of the first to attend.

Ted Wilkinson, watch manager at Knaresborough, said: “The fire had broken out in a first floor office area and spread to a small part of the roof. The area was next to the side of the main building where the indoor swimming pool is and the old dining area.

“The fire was brought under control by around 1am but fire crews were still there at 4am when we left.

“Fortunately, all the pupils had gone home for the Christmas holidays the week before so the building was empty apart from one or two staff.”

A press office spokesperson for the fire service said investigations were still underway as to how the fire started. It was also confirmed that no reports of any injured persons had been received.

Eyewitness and local resident, Steven Newlove, lives near the school. He said: “We could see the flames billowing out of the windows from the roadside.

“There were so many fire engines there and a heck of a lot of smoke to start with. Some of the engines were having trouble finding the entrance to get in. We were up till about 1.30am watching the activity.”

Provost of Queen Ethelburgas, Brian Martin, said repairs were expected to take three weeks and pupils were due to return to the school on January 9.