In pictures: the sickening extent of damage caused to Harrogate school by arson attack

The community is rallying together to do a clean-up of the area. Picture: Gerard Binks.
The community is rallying together to do a clean-up of the area. Picture: Gerard Binks.

Pictures taken this morning show the severe extent of the damage caused to Harrogate's Saltergate primary school by an overnight arson attack.

Three teenagers arrested after Harrogate school arson attack - police issue statement

The blaze caused severe damage to the Early Years outdoor area. Picture: Gerard Binks.

The blaze caused severe damage to the Early Years outdoor area. Picture: Gerard Binks.

Three teenagers have been arrested following the blaze yesterday, which took hold of the early years outdoor area, and headteacher Linda Mortimer has issued a statement, speaking of her heartbreak at the incident, whilst also praising the wider community for their support.

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.

"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.

"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.

The school's headteacher has spoken of her heartbreak at the incident. Picture: Gerard Binks.

The school's headteacher has spoken of her heartbreak at the incident. Picture: Gerard Binks.

"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."

Firefighters were called to the blaze at 8.30pm last night. Picture: Gerard Binks.

Firefighters were called to the blaze at 8.30pm last night. Picture: Gerard Binks.