Simpson Street School fire 'likely to have been started deliberately' fire service say as police investigation launched

The fire service has said it believes a blaze at the former Simpson Street School was “likely to have been started deliberately” as police launch an investigation into the cause of the fire.

Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 10:07 am
Updated Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 11:21 am

The roof of the Grade II-listed building in the Deptford area of Sunderland was severely damaged by the fire which started at about 6pm on Tuesday, January 28.

Five crews from across Sunderland and Gateshead were called to the now derelict building at 6.19pm and battled the fire for more than five hours, before leaving the scene at 11.32pm.

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Two engines from Farringdon, one engine from Sunderland Central, one engine from Marley Park and one engine from Gateshead, worked together to put out the fire.

The cause of the fire has not yet been confirmed, but the fire service has said that ‘likely to have been started deliberately.’

A fire service spokeswoman confirmed that that they are supporting the police in their investigations into the fire.

The aftermath of the former Simpson Street School in Sunderland.

"Emergency services attended and the fire was extinguished.

"Nobody was injured, but the road was closed for a number of hours as crews battled the blaze.

"Inquiries are ongoing with the fire service to determine the cause of the fire."

Firefighters at the scene of the fire. Image by Anthony Fisher.

During the blaze Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service advised members of the public to stay clear of the area while crews worked to extinguish the fire and urged residents to keep their windows and doors closed.

On Wednesday morning, January 29, the fire service confirmed that crews secured the building before leaving but did not cordon it off as a fence already surrounds the site.

The fire severely damaged the roof of the former Simpson Street School in Sunderland.
Simpson Street School in the aftermath of the fire.