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Fire At School In Escrick - BBQ Left Unattended

Fire Engine

6:41am 8th July 2013

Four fire engines from York and Selby, together with the aerial ladder platform from York, attended reports of smoke throughout a number of rooms in the Queen Margaret's boarding school for girls in Escrick last night.

On their arrival firecrews say they commenced an extensive search for the source of the fire which was not readily identifiable, but had resulted in smoke in about 20 rooms of the school.

Firecrews say they searched the building for the fire, in the basement area and ground floor, having to remove floorboards and forced entry to a number of rooms.

The searching began at around 18:30, say the fire service, but the source of the fire wasn't found until just before 21:00, when the fire was confirmed as being in ground floor room near to the reception area. North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue say the source of the fire was a portable BBQ which had been left unattended, presumably extinguished, on the flat roof above. However, they add, the portable BBQ had then, over time, burnt through the flat lead roof and dropped into the room below, where the smoke had activated smoke alarms and got into approximately 20 rooms.

Fire/heat damage was confined to the hole in the roof, with slight smoke damage to the rooms. However, firecrews say they had to remove a number of floorboards, force entry to a number of locked rooms during their search, and then cut away burnt and heat damaged ceiling joists on their discovery of the fire.

The school was revisited by a fire crew at around midnight, and will receive a further revisit later this morning.

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