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Thursday, 15 August, 2002, 12:03 GMT 13:03 UK
High school 'destroyed' by fire
Fire at Chase Terrace High School, Burntwood, Staffordshire
The fire rages at Chase Terrace High School
The headmaster of a Staffordshire school destroyed by fire, is drawing up an emergency plan to rehouse pupils.

Crews from all over the county were called to Chase Terrace High School in Burntwood after the fire broke out at 2115 BST on Wednesday.

Officers fought the flames from inside the building but had to withdraw because it became too dangerous.

They then moved to a platform above the school, and doused the flames with water from the swimming pool.

'Strategy meeting'

At the height of the incident, more than 150 firefighters were at the scene.

By Thursday morning, the fire was still burning but had been brought under control.

It is not yet known where the 1,500 students will go when the school starts back in September but head teacher Brian Mather says the students will be looked after.

He told BBC Radio WM: "We are having a strategy meeting later this morning with education to look at what the plan is.

"We have got a plan to work through to find out what's the first stage, what's the second stage and so on.

"The immediate thing was the A-level results this morning. Fortunately we do have another building down the road and we will deliver those.

'Dangerous condition'

"We had staff in yesterday downloading results so the kids will get their results."

A spokesman for Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service said it was still too early to say what caused the fire.

"The building is in such a dangerous condition that the building inspectors will not allow us to go in and do a fire investigation yet.

"But it has been very badly damaged.

"I would say the whole site will probably have to be demolished."

In a separate incident, fire crews spent the night fighting a large fire at the Goodyear tyre factory in Wolverhampton.

'Ferocious fire'

More than 100 officers were called to the plant at 2230 BST on Wednesday.

The fire, which is being treated as suspicious, started in the tyre compound and spread to a warehouse nearby destroying all the finished tyres due to be shipped out of the plant.

Gary Phillips, from West Midlands Fire Service, said: "The fire was very ferocious on arrival.

"Our initial crews were faced with a wall of flame from the tyres because tyres burn very quickly and very rapidly.

"There has been lots of smoke and flames coming off the tyres."

A spokesman for the fire service said they were working on the theory that the fire had been started deliberately.


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14 Aug 02 | England
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