Essex secondary school hit by fire

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Firefighters have been tackling a major blaze at a school in Essex.

The blaze broke out at the Cecil Jones Academy in Southend-on-Sea on Tuesday night, close to a science lab containing hazardous materials.

Mr Fenwick said that the fire, which was attended to by 14 fire crews, was in the roof and first floor of the building.

Fire crews from Southend, Leigh, Shoeburyness, Basildon, Chelmsford and Hawkwell were sent to the school, which was left completely smoke logged by the blaze. We also requested the attendance of a water bowser to help with firefighting operations.

There were 12 fire engines and more than 60 firefighters at the scene at the height of the blaze.

He said: "The fire investigation has been carried out, and we can confirm that there wasn't any malicious or suspicious circumstances".

'Although the room was far away from the fire, crews entered the building and removed these materials for the safety of the incident'.

However, she said the school is looking to get some Portkabins in order to fully open on time at the start of term. It's not coming across the road but it's going the other way.

"They are trying to put it out but the flames are just going through the roof".

Another witness, who asked not to be named, said: 'It is just very bad. It's just lucky the school is closed'.

A Southend Council spokesman said: "Whilst Cecil Jones is an academy, we have been in touch with the headteacher who is on site and has confirmed that this is an accident linked to building works taking place at the school".

"The fire is under control and no-one is hurt".

Despite much of the school being severely damaged, teenagers have still been invited to turn up and collect their GCSE exam results today.