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Fire in School - Staff and Pupils Praised

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A school for pupils with moderate learning difficulties and autism was hit by a fire earlier this week, but the quick thinking of teachers and maturity of students meant there were no injuries.Treetops School in Thurrock, was evacuated at 13.20 GMT yesterday as Essex County Fire and Rescue Service quickly attended the scene.

Around 270 of the school's pupils - aged between three and 19 years old - were led to safety by staff and the school will now be closed until Monday at the earliest (March 18th). Headteacher Paul Smith said how proud he was of the pupils for how well they dealt with the situation, while also expressing his relief that the school remains intact. "The children realised it was a real situation and they behaved impeccably," he explained. "There was no panic and the staff of the school were marvellous. We regularly have fire drills and this really paid off.

Non-domestic premises, including schools, in England and Wales must have a 'suitable and sufficient' fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. If the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison. For further information on fire risk assessments for schools click here.