Garden waste fire led to 999 call to North Shore school

A plume of foul-smelling smoke sparked fears of a blaze at a North Shore school.

Tuesday, 22nd May 2018, 2:19 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd May 2018, 5:31 pm
Unity Academy in North Shore

Firefighters received a 999 call reporting smoke coming from Unity Academy in Warbreck Hill Road at around 8.25am yesterday – but it was actually coming from a nearby garden, officials said yesterday.

The pungent cloud engulfed the all-through school, which caters for nursery, primary, and secondary children aged up to 16, but passed in around 15 minutes, a spokesman for the Fylde Coast Academy Trust (FCAT) told The Gazette.

The drama was over by the time youngsters sat down for class, and there were no reports of any injuries or illnesses, it was understood.

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One fire engine and crew from red watch at Forest Gate were called to a garden in nearby Warley Road at 8.21am, a spokesman for the Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) said.

They found waste on fire and put out the flames using a water jet. They left minutes later, at around 8.35am.

“If somebody has innocently set light to some garden waste, and the crews decide it’s looking dangerous and could spread, then they will put it out, regardless of whether a householder has intended it,” the spokesman said.

“They decided it was best to put it out.”

FCAT spokesman John Topping said the incident was ‘short-lived’. “A big plume of smoke blew across from the bottom of Warley Road,” he said. “It came right across Unity and went into the filtration unit. The smoke just dissipated. The site supervisor could not see where the fire came from. It was not in the school’s perimeter.”