The £ 8.7 million pound Marriott’s and Lonsdale School in Stevenage was opened in January 2013 by the former education secretary Michael Gove.
The school is an amalgamation of two former Stevenage Schools and now houses approx 1500 Pupils ,of which around 60 are severely mobility impaired children and who live on the premises.
At just before 12:30 on Wednesday 5th November a fire was started in a WC cubicle when a toilet roll was ignited. This then actuated a smoke detector and raised the alarm.
The fire was intense enough to actuate a single recessed sprinkler head, located in the ceiling above the cubicle , which suppressed and contained the fire until the arrival of the fire service. Fire damage was limited to a small area of about 5m ² within the WC and the damage caused was estimated at about £1k.
The school carried its out is well rehearsed evacuation procedure from one compartment only, whereas the mobility impaired children were able to remain in their half of the school whilst the fire was dealt with. None of the pupils or staff is reported to have been injured in the incident.
On arrival of the fire service the Officer in Charge ascertained the fire was out and ordered the sprinkler to be turned off and started water removal procedure with the aid of the Incident support unit from Hitchin.
The incident caused minimal disruption with the School fully operational 1 hour after the fire.