Arson suspected in school blaze

Officials are uncertain whether the new 800-student capacity school will be able to open in April as planned

November 27th, 2012 9:41 am| by admin

Fire authorities in Copenhagen suspect arson to be the cause of a powerful fire that broke out last night at the construction site of a new 430 million kroner school.

It took around 55 fire fighters two hours to quell the blaze at the school in the Sydhavn district that was supposed to open in April.

“Fires normally start in one place, but in this incident there were several smaller blazes which indicates that it was the result of arson,” Copenhagen Police spokesperson Mads Firlinger told Politiken newspaper.

The 800-pupil capacity school was partially constructed, which explained why the flames spread so quickly.

“It was a strange fire because it is an open concrete construction that was partially fitted,” Bo Skov, spokesperson for the Copenhagen fire brigade told the Ritzau news bureau. “So it is open to the elements, which allowed the fire to spread so quickly. The walls were not finished and the doors had not been installed.”

Skov added that the partially constructed building had suffered damage from smoke and soot and the heat of the fire had caused a gas cylinder to explode.

The school’s future headteacher, Morten Biering, told Politiken that it had yet to be determined whether the fire had also damaged the building material on the construction site.

He said he would now be trying to find an alternative school for the pupils to attend should the Sydhavn school not open as planned.

“This is unsettling,” he said “It’s not fun and it’s very, very disappointing for those parents that had looked forward to enrolling their children in the school,” Biering said.

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