Dorset 'lightning strike' fire investigations continue

Lytchett Minster School Fire crews from five counties tackled the fire at Lytchett Minster Upper School

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Firefighters are still trying to determine whether lightning strikes caused three fires in Dorset.

Crews have returned to Lytchett Minster Upper School to carry out inspections after an arts and theatre block was seriously damaged by fire on Thursday.

Examination coursework belonging to students was destroyed in the blaze

Investigations also continue into fires at a derelict hotel in Boscombe, Bournemouth and a barn near Stalbridge, also on Thursday.

At its height, firefighters from five counties tackled the fire at the school near Poole and had to pump water from a nearby canal to fight the flames.

Due to fears over the safety of the structure, the flames could only be tackled from outside the building.

Crews remained at the scene overnight to help with damping down.

'So sad'

Many students lost crucial GCSE and A Level work in the fire.

One of them, Paige Marsh tweeted: "So sad watching this, all my artwork is burning as I watch the flames blow up."

About 25 firefighters were called to a fire at the Cliff End Hotel in Boscombe just before 07:00 GMT.

Following a search, nobody was found inside the derelict building where fire damaged the roof and second floor.

Hours earlier, 20 sheep died in a fire at a barn in Stalbridge, near Sherborne. About 60 sheep, ewes and lambs were saved after the alarm was raised at about 04:35 GMT.

Dorset Fire and Rescue Service said lightning strikes cold not be ruled out in all three fires.

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