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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 September, 2004, 15:44 GMT 16:44 UK
Fire closes comprehensive school
fire in Arnold
The fire started on Tuesday evening
Fire has destroyed 16 classrooms at a Nottinghamshire comprehensive school.

More than 90 firefighters tackled the blaze at Arnold Hill School in Arnold on Tuesday.

About 1,500 pupils have been told to stay at home by the head teacher who said staff were "devastated". The school is to re-open on Monday.

An investigation is under way into the cause of the fire, which started at about 2030 BST. Arson has not been ruled out by investigators.

We will pick ourselves up and come back even stronger
Robin Fugill, Head teacher
Station officer Mick Straw said: "The premises have been badly damaged by fire and smoke with 50% to 60% of the lower school buildings effected - mostly classrooms."

Head teacher Robin Fugill said: "It looks like we have got 16 classrooms that have definitely been damaged beyond repair.

"There is a possibility, depending on access to the school, that that could extend to 25 classrooms."

Arnold Hill Comprehensive School
At least 16 classrooms were destroyed in the fire
Most of the damage was to buildings used by year seven students, who arrived at the school this week.

Mr Fugill said on Wednesday: "The pupils will be devastated. Clearly the atmosphere in the early hours of this morning was that students were very, very saddened about what they saw.

"I've spoken to staff this morning, they are feeling positive about it even though they are devastated."

A section of Gedling Road in Arnold was closed off after the fire.

"It is really sad to see this - a lot of work from teachers and students will have gone up in flames," said Mr Fugill.

"But we will pick ourselves up and come back even stronger."




WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC's Pip Watts
"About 60% of the lower school was damaged"



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