Omagh school fire 'suspicious'
Police are treating a fire at a special school in Co Tyrone as suspicious.
The blaze broke out at Heatherbank school in Omagh in the early hours of this morning. There were no reports of injuries.
A police spokeswoman said substantial damage had been caused to the school on the Arvalee Road and officers are treating the blaze as suspicious. A full investigation will take place.
A total of seven fire engines and specialist vehicles including two aerial appliances were involved in dealing with the blaze at the two-storey building, the fire service said.
The school is relatively new, having opened in 2004, and caters for pupils aged between three and 19 who have moderate and severe learning difficulties.
MLA Tom Buchanan said the school may have been damaged beyond repair, and temporary accommodation would have to be provided for the pupils.
“Arvalee school is a facility used by all sections of the community and there is a real sense of shock and sadness that anyone might have set out to deliberately attack it,” he said.
“The sense of shock goes right across the Omagh district as Arvalee is not just a school but truly is a community facility.”
Alternative arrangements will be made for the children due to return to school next week. The aim will be to ensure arrangements are made as quickly as possible, and that any distress to the children involved is kept to an absolute minimum.
Parents of pupils at the school will be alerted once alternative arrangements are agreed.