Arsonists damage Richmond school

2016-01-25 11:00

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Pietermaritzburg - A Richmond school was the target of suspected arson attack as several parts of the school were set alight on Saturday.

Fires were started in each classroom of Richlea School in Richmond, Victoria Street, which teaches around 450 pupils.

Richmond Fire Protection Association officer Terry Tedder said the protection association was alerted to the fire at around 9.30am on Saturday.

“One is amazed at who would want to burn down a school that caters for over 450 pupils, and what the motives are,” said Tedder.

“They attempted to start a fire in every classroom, but fortunately, in most instances their method failed. The office and staff room and one classroom were completely destroyed by the blaze and also the kitchen area, which was a separate building on its own.”

Tedder said the buildings that were destroyed in the flames were prefabricated, so it “was not easy to contain the blaze with the local fire department resources”.

He said a district fire tender from Ashburton fire department also arrived to assist.

“Hopefully the children will be able to continue with their learning, and arrangements can be made to keep the school functional and the teachers can be provided with offices and a staff room.”

Police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said the motive for the fire is unknown at this stage.

“A case of arson has been opened at Richmond police station for investigation,” he said.

• chelsea.pieterse@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  arson
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