Sprinkler saved £20m school from destruction

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A SHEFFIELD school escaped serious damage from fire - after a sprinkler system activated immediately in the early hours of the morning.

The blaze broke out at the brand new £20 million Parkwood Academy in Shirecliffe, which only opened after the Easter break.

Fire chiefs said the incident highlighted the huge value of sprinkler systems, which in this case had contained the flames and activated an alarm.

Fire crews from the Elm Lane station found although the classroom affected was wet due to the activation of the sprinkler system, the blaze hadn’t spread.

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue’s Assistant Chief Fire Officer Neil Hessell said: “The school could have suffered extensive damage had the fire not been detected early and contained to just one classroom.”

Firefighters put out the fire using a foam system and left the incident on Penrith Road just after 2am on Wednesday.

It is believed the blaze was caused by a faulty extraction fan in a first floor classroom.