London Fire Brigade

Renewed call for sprinklers after Mill Hill school blaze

09 November 2017

The Brigade is renewing its call for sprinklers after a school in Mill Hill was damaged by fire yesterday evening.

The cause of the fire is believed to be gym equipment left too near to an electric heater.

There were also no sprinklers in the building on The Ridgeway which has prompted the Brigade to reiterate its calls for sprinkler systems to be installed in new and refurbished schools.

Six fire engines and 35 firefighters and officers were called to the fire. It started in the doorway of a store room which was destroyed and spread to a ground floor sports hall, which was partly damaged.

There were no reports of any injuries. The fire was accidental and was due to gym equipment left too close to an electric heater.

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “Once again we see a serious school fire where no sprinklers were installed.

"Fortunately this fire happened during the evening so disruption was minimal, but if this had happened during a school day it could have been a very different outcome.

"The Commissioner as recently as last month called on all new and refurbished schools to stop ignoring the benefits of sprinklers and take action to install fire suppression systems. "Last year, the Brigade was consulted on 184 London schools being refurbished or built and our advice to install sprinklers was taken in only four of these cases.

"We are called to more than 80 fires a year in London schools and in most cases, sprinklers are not fitted meaning millions of pounds are wasted repairing fire damage and also water damage from fire crews’ hoses.

“This fire also highlights that items should never be placed close or near to heaters, particularly at this time of year as the temperature is starting to drop and they are more widely used.

"People need to make sure their portable heaters are standing upright and kept well away from nearby clothing or furniture."

The Brigade was called at 2111 and the fire was under control at 2345. Fire crews from Mill Hill, Finchley, Hendon and Wembley fire stations attended the scene.