Fire dev­as­tates school

Central Leader - - Front Page - By Carly Tawhiao

GUY FAWKES hit May Road Pri­mary School a day early this year and the re­sult is grim.

Black soot now cov­ers the Richardson Rd school’s ad­min­is­tra­tion block, as hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars worth of equip­ment went up in flames in the school’s re­source room on Wed­nes­day night.

Books, teach­ing re­sources and mu­sic equip­ment, as well as of­fice and print­ing equip­ment, were all de­stroyed af­ter a sus­pected Guy Fawkes van­dal­ism.

“We think it was fire­works and we think some­one threw fire­works into a fan,” prin­ci­pal Lynda Stu­art says.

Ms Stu­art says it was a fiveyear-old pupil who spot­ted the fire at about 6.45pm.

“There were peo­ple play­ing rugby on the field and the hall was hired out, so there were peo­ple around. She saw some­thing was wrong and alerted her fa­ther who was in the school hall,” she says.

“He called the fire bri­gade and they ar­rived soon af­ter.”

Even though the dam­age is ex­ten­sive, Ms Stu­art says she’s re­lieved that no one was hurt.

“It’s hor­ri­ble and it’s aw­ful. The kids are up­set but the most im­por­tant thing is we’ve got us. We can man­age without books but not without peo­ple.”

The power was tem­po­rar­ily dis­con­nected to en­sure the blaze had been com­pletely con­tained, as helpers bus­ied them­selves by pre­vent­ing the spread of soot.

“The com­mu­nity has been amaz­ing. There have been so many of­fers of help from par­ents but there is not a lot we can do un­til the dam­age gets as­sessed.”

Ms Stu­art can re­call two fires dur­ing her time at the school, one in 1990 and one on Christ­mas Day, 2006.

Al­though she says mem­bers of the school com­mu­nity are say­ing fire­works should be banned, she dis­agrees.

“I have fond mem­o­ries of Guy Fawkes par­ties when I was a child,” she says.

“It’s not about ban­ning fire­works but hav­ing proper parental su­per­vi­sion.

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