School fire heroes thanked

Firfighters in the aftermath of the blaze
Firfighters in the aftermath of the blaze
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Members of a school community pulling together after a large fire are getting creative to thank their “heroes”.

Firefighters spent more than 10 hours at Westleigh Methodist Primary last Sunday as they doused the flames.

Several classrooms, the library and other areas were damaged and the school had to be closed.

School leaders praised the “amazing work” of the crews and it was highlighted by Wigan Council.

Now staff at the Westleigh Lane school have appealed for help to show their gratitude to the firefighters by getting people to put their thoughts down on paper so a package can be given to the crews.

A statement on the school’s Facebook page said: “We would like to express our gratitude to the fire service who did an amazing job tackling the fire and preventing it spreading through school. Words can not describe how grateful we are as a school and we know parents, carers and children will feel the same.

“We would like to involve the school community in thanking them personally by drawing pictures, writing poems, letters of thanks or prayers that we will collate as a school and deliver to our heroes.

“If you would like to be a part of this huge gesture of thanks, please leave any contributions at the school’s main office.”

An investigation by the fire service revealed the blaze was caused by an electrical fault in solar panels on the roof of a building.

Year six pupils returned to lessons on Wednesday but were taught in the chapel linked to the school. Other children had to stay away until after the holidays while other venues are sought for classrooms.

The community is rallying around to help the school get back up and running. An appeal on social media by teaching assistant Lianne Cass has seen people around the country donate books to replace those damaged in the library. A donation point has been set up at Westleigh High for contributions.

Leigh’s Tesco is collecting donations of paint, PVA glue, children’s scissors, pencils, felt tips, crayons, coloured paper and other items. Hundreds of pounds have also been given to an online appeal set up by parent Kelly Harris to buy school supplies.