Staff at a school in Long Eaton in Derbyshire that has been destroyed by fire, say they've been left devastated by the damage caused.

Fire crews from Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire were called to Harrington School in Long Eaton just after midday yesterday (28th May).

Incident Commander, Group Manager Dean Gazzard from Derbyshire Fireand Rescue Service said fire crews had to deal with "a well-developed fire in the roof of the building." All of the pupils and staff were evacuated.

Large plumes of black smoke were seen across Derbyshire, and two firefighters were taken to hospital with minor injuries. Other crews worked through the night to extinguish the blaze.

Photo of black smoke engulfing the school building Credit: Krisha Misra/Twitter

Staff at the school released a statement last night, sharing their devastation that the building could not be saved.

"Today has been an extremely difficult day. We were on site until nearly 9pm with the emergency services. We cannot thank them enough for their work and efforts in trying to save our school. But, it is with regret, that this has not been possible. All the staff are devastated. We wish to thank you for the all the kind messages of support and the generous gifts you have delivered. All have been touching- we cannot thank you enough. Due to the difficult nature of the work ahead, we will not be able to respond to individual messages ...."

School spokesperson

An investigation into the cause of the fire has concluded that it was accidental.

It suggests that the fire was most likely caused by hot works taking place on site as part of ongoing refurbishment.

Two firefighters who sustained minor injuries at the scene have now been released from hospital and are recovering at home.

A crowdfunding appeal has also begun to help raise funds to repair the school.

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