Essex

Treetops School, Grays, closed after fire breaks out

A special school in Essex that was damaged by a fire will remain closed until Monday.

The fire broke out in the drama studio at Treetops School, Grays, at about 13:20 GMT on Thursday.

The school's 270 pupils, who are aged between three and 19 and have moderate learning difficulties and autism, were led to safety by staff.

The blaze was extinguished by 14:20 GMT and Essex Fire and Rescue Service said the cause was being investigated.

Head teacher Paul Smith said: "The children realised it was a real situation and they behaved impeccably.

"There was no panic and the staff of the school were marvellous. We regularly have fire drills and this really paid off.

"There was a lot of smoke billowing from the roof of the school hall and we feared that it would spread. But because all of the fire doors were properly closed meant that the fire was contained."

The school said early suggestions were that the fire was caused by an electrical installation.

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