2 Sep '13

News Five boys arrested after fire destroys Lancashire school

Boys aged between 11 and 15 held on suspicion of causing fire that devastated St Mary's Catholic Technology College in Leyland

Five children have been arrested after a fire destroyed a school that was due to reopen on Tuesday after the summer holidays.

Leyland St Mary's Catholic Technology College in Royal Avenue, Leyland, Lancashire, was devastated by the blaze, which broke out shortly after 4pm on Sunday.

Five boys aged between 11 and 15 were being held on suspicion of arson, Lancashire police said.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said 125 firefighters and 20 engines were used to tackle the blaze.

The building, which was built in 1957, had no sprinklers. The cause of the fire was being investigated and was thought to be suspicious, the service said.

About 10 fire engines remained at the scene in the early hours of Monday to extinguish the last pockets of flames and ensure the scene was safe. Firefighters are expected to remain at the scene until late in the afternoon.

Staff were due to attend the school on Monday for an inset day, its website said, and pupils were to return for lessons after the holidays on Tuesday.

A statement on its website said the fire had caused "devastating damage" and asked people to "please pray for the school at this difficult time".

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