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Sprinklers could have saved Dagenham school, says fire brigade

Photo: London Fire Brigade crews tackling the blaze yesterday.

The Deputy Assistant Commissioner for London Fire Brigade (LFB) says Roding Primary School could have been saved if sprinklers were fitted.

The school’s building in Hewett Road went up in flames early yesterday morning and pupils’ parents have been told it will not reopen this week.

Firefighters say there were no sprinklers which increased the damage caused by the blaze.

Photo: Twitter @67jrde

Lee Drawbridge, from LFB, said: “There could be no clearer example of why sprinklers in schools are so important as they could have significantly reduced the damage and impact of this fire.

“Fires in schools cause major disruption to pupils’ learning and often lead to costly repair bills.

“Sprinklers use on average 90 per cent less water than hoses and so not only stop fires developing but also prevent costly water damage.

“London’s firefighters are called to more than 80 fires in schools every year and in most cases, sprinklers are not fitted – meaning millions of pounds are wasted repairing fire and water damage.

“Crews were faced with a serious blaze when they arrived at the school and worked very hard to bring it under control but given the intensity of the fire, there is unfortunately significant damage to the school.”

LFB is calling on the government to make sprinklers mandatory in all new school builds and major refurbishments.

It claims that, if incorporated from the design stage, sprinklers would only be around 1 per cent of the total build cost.

Barking and Dagenham Council has been contacted for its response.

Roding’s other site in Cannington Road is unaffected but the school said: “The Hewett pupils will not be attending other schools or the Cannington site tomorrow or in the very near future.

“We will update you as soon as a proper assessment of the damage is done and we can access the site.”

Does your child go to Roding Primary’s Hewett Road school? Time 107.5 would like to hear from you. Call our newsdesk on 01708 767 591

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