A CLASSROOM at a South Yorkshire school was destroyed by fire when a storage shed next door was set on fire in an arson attack.
Firefighters were alerted to the blaze at The Hill Primary School, Thurnscoe, at 11.20pm on Tuesday and discovered a classroom in the Hill Toppers Neighbourhood Nursery section in flames.
Fire had spread to the roof of the Tudor Street building.
Firefighters battled for three-and-a-half hours to bring the blaze under control and prevent flames engulfing the entire school complex.
Crews stopped the fire spreading but said one classroom was impossible to save.
The rest of the school suffered smoke and water damage.
Staff closed the school yesterday while assessments on the extent of damage and safety of the building.
An investigation into the cause of the blaze established it started in a storage shed used to store play equipment.
A fire service spokesman said the blaze had been started deliberately.
At its height there were 20 firefighters involved in the battle to save the school - two crews from Dearne fire station, one from Adwick and one from West Yorkshire.
They were involved in the firefighting operation until 2.45am yesterday.
A Barnsley Council spokesman said children were given yesterday off school.
Some community-spirited parents have offered to help with the clean-up operation, he added.