'Heartbroken and deeply saddened' - Harrogate headteacher speaks out after school arson attack

The aftermath of the fire. Picture: Graham Whyte.
The aftermath of the fire. Picture: Graham Whyte.

The headteacher of Harrogate's Saltergate Primary has spoken of her heartbreak following an overnight arson attack at the school.

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Three teenagers have been arrested following the blaze yesterday, which caused severe damage to the early years outdoor area, and headteacher Linda Mortimer has issued a statement.

She said today: "It was purely due to the vigilance of members of the local community that the fire and rescue service and the police were on site soon after these attacks - our grateful thanks for their efforts in dangerous circumstances.

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"Although the severe damage to the Early Years outdoor area is heartbreaking, it could have been so much worse if the fire had extended to the school buildings. I am of course, deeply saddened that anyone should wish to destroy an area designed and made for young children embarking on their journey in education.

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"We thank you for your support and offers of help. It means such a lot to the staff and governors to know that our community is ready and willing to get to work to make the school site safe for our children. It's heartwarming to know that so many people care. On this occasion we have to let others take the lead. Firstly, the Fire Service and CSI will need to complete their investigations, and the local authority representatives will then ensure that the area is safe for the children, who will be back to school on Tuesday 4th June, after the half term holiday.

"I will keep everyone informed of progress and will gladly accept all offers of help from parents and the community if I am given the authority to do so. But, for now, please hold tight and await further news."