Police investigation after arson attack on school science block

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ARSONISTS who broke into a school building in Bury St Edmunds and set light to a classroom are being hunted by police.

Pupils arrived at County Upper School, in Beetons Way, on Friday morning to discover the school was closed.

The fire broke out in a classroom in a science block shortly before 1am on Friday. Fire crews from Bury, Ixworth, Elmswell, Wickhambrook, Newmarket and Ipswich all attended. Police say that offenders smashed windows to get into the building before starting the fire.

The block off Anglian Lane was taped off on Friday as forensics teams worked at the scene. Investigators had to switch off the gas and electricity, forcing the school to shut as it had no heating or lighting.

Head teacher Vicky Neale praised firefighters and premises manager Kevin Hamlin, who was able to give the fire service specific details about the hazardous and flammable materials kept in the science labs.

Mrs Neale said: “It was just a relief that nobody was hurt and the fire was contained to a small block on the furthest perimeter of the school.

“The fire damage was limited to one classroom. There was no damage to any of the course work, equipment or furniture. Subject to structural checks we are hoping we can give the room a deep clean and reopen it.”

Police want to speak to a person seen at the time walking away from the school towards the Howard Estate.

The person is described as being 6ft, of slim build and wearing a dark top with a hood/ hat and tracksuit bottoms with white strips down the sides.