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Flames rip through old Rodbourne school
Buy this photo » Firefighters cleaning up at the scene of the fire at the former Even Swindon School
INVESTIGATIONS are under way after flames ripped through the former Even Swindon Primary School building.
About 25 firefighters battled for nearly two hours to put the flames out at the disused building in Rodbourne after they were called at 5.07am on Saturday.
Five fire engines and an aerial appliance attended the blaze which police have confirmed is being treated as a possible arson.
Watch manager, Andy Edmondson, said: “It was a big fire. The crews who came here stopped it spreading. It could have been a lot worse.
“It was a well-developed fire. It broke into the roof prior to our arrival and took hold of one end of the buildings. It was severe and had the potential to be even bigger.” The fire, which completely gutted one of the rooms and part of the roof, was put out by 6.55am.
“The fire has caused a lot of damage in one compartment but it has not spread any further,” said Andy.
“The cause of the fire is still being investigated. The fire investigation team thoroughly inspected the building but a cause has not been given yet.”
Two engines were called out initially but when they discovered how big the fire was further crews were sent to help out.
A spokesman for Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “At 5.07am we had the first of many calls reporting a fire at a disused building in Hughes Street. Appliances from Swindon and Westlea were mobilised but on arrival the roof of the building was found to be well alight so further assistance was requested.”
Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used main jets to put the fire out.
Anna Walker, 56, who lives near the scene, said: “I could see the fire and flashing lights from my window. The flames were really high at one point. It really went up.
“It looks really bad, you can see the roof is completely burnt out where the fire was.”
Any witnesses to the fire on Saturday morning should contact police with information on 101. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, where information can be left anonymously.