Sprinkler 'saves Gateshead school'

11 Sep 2013

A Gateshead school was saved from severe damage after its sprinkler system extinguished a blaze before fire services arrived.

The fire started in an electrical IT server cupboard on the first floor of the Cardinal Hume Catholic School in Wrekton on August 22.

A child passing by noticed smoke coming from the school's ventilation system and Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service received a call at 17:26 BST.

Three appliances were dispatched to the school within minutes and officers had to break in to the unoccupied building before discovering the sprinkler system had done its job and extinguished the flames.

The fire still inflicted major damage to the IT server hardware but the success of the sprinkler meant it did not cause more expensive damage and disruption to the school.

Nick Hurn, headteacher at Cardinal Hume Catholic School, said: "There is no doubt that having the sprinkler suppression system has significantly reduced the impact of the fire. The fire in the IT server cupboard could easily have spread to other items nearby and the rest of the school."

Copyright Press Association 2013

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