TERRIFIED children were evacuated from a school caught in what police believe to be an arson attack.

Detectives said it was incredibly fortunate no children were injured. The youngsters had been taking part in a holiday camp at Ivy Lane Primary School, Chippenham, when flames spread from a nearby bush to the school buildings. Firefighters were called at around 12.10pm on Monday, April 15.

Three boys, one aged 14 and two 15-year-olds, have been arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life. One of boys, 15, has been released with no further action, while the other two have been released on police bail while enquiries continue.

Det Sgt Adam Fleetwood-Brown said: “We are treating this incident as arson with intent to endanger life and we are keen to hear from anyone who may have witnessed a group of teenagers in the vicinity of Ivy Lane Primary School at lunch time yesterday. We believe they ran off along the alleyway near to Providence Terrace following the incident.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to urge parents to be mindful of their children’s whereabouts during the school holidays. I know that the majority of young children will be enjoying their Easter break safely and would never consider behaving in such a mindless way. I do not want the recklessness of a small group of individuals to ruin things for others.

“It is incredibly fortunate that nobody was hurt during this incident as there were children at the school at the time taking part in a holiday club – luckily they were all evacuated quickly and safely.

“The damage caused to the roof of the building is substantial and will be costly and inconvenient to repair.

“The school is located in a busy area of the town, and I would urge anyone who was in the area at the time, including any drivers with dash cam footage, to please get in touch.”

Neither Wiltshire Police or Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service were able to confirm the number of children evacuated from the school.

Anyone with information should call Wiltshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.