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Hot weather blamed for college fire

THE hot weather was blamed for a fire which damaged the roof on the dance studio at Sir John Deane's College.

THE hot weather was blamed for a fire which damaged the roof on the dance studio at Sir John Deane's College.

The fire started while workmen were renewing the felt on the roof on Wednesday afternoon.

Because of the holidays no students were on the premises and no one was hurt.

College principal Andrew Jones said: 'All safety precautions were in place and we would like to praise the roofing contractors and Sir John Deane's staff whose quick actions ensured this was a minor incident.

'We would also like to thank the fire brigade for attending so quickly and extinguishing the fire which prevented any further damage to college buildings.'

Two teams of firefighters from Northwich and one from Wins-ford were called in.

Paul Hardwick, watch manager at Northwich, said the crews managed to get the fire under control within 20 minutes and the whole operation took about one-and-a-half hours.

Meanwhile, fears that a blaze at a farm in Delamere could spread to the forest triggered a massive operation on Friday.

Dozens of firefighters were brought in to fight the inferno which broke out in several tons of straw at Eddisbury Lodge Farm on the edge of the forest.

Mr Hardwick said there was a great risk the fire could spread to the forest which was already on high alert.

'We were very worried because everything is so dry. Thankfully we managed to bring the fire under control quite swiftly on Friday but we continued spreading water on it for quite some time to prevent it reigniting. We finally left the scene at 1pm on Saturday.'

While their hard work paid off other parts of the forest were not so lucky with fires reported off Blakemere Lane and Hatchmere at the weekend.

More followed on Monday, with forestry officials suspecting a fire bug was behind one near the main Whitefield Car Park off Station Road, which spread across 300 square metres destroying pine and broad-leafed trees and valuable wildlife habitats.

Police and firefighters have begun patrolling the forest in a bid to catch the offender before the problem escalates and Simon Hough, recreation manager at the forest, said: 'The forest is still tinder dry even after this week's rain. Whoever is doing this probably does not realise the dangers but they could end up killing someone.'

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