TODAY |

Christchurch school blaze caused by suspected faulty electrical box - investigators

A fire that destroyed classrooms at Russley School in Christchurch yesterday morning has been deemed accidental and caused by a suspected faulty electrical box.

The blaze reported at 7.10am yesterday affected about 120 students who use the Year 7 and 8 block and covered 600 square metres. 

Fire and Emergency New Zealand investigators finished their work at the school today, having been onsite since the fire was extinguished late yesterday morning.   

Fire Risk Management Officer Wayne Hamilton says the investigations team, which included an electrical engineer, has deemed the cause of the fire to be accidental and caused by a suspected faulty electrical multi-box.

"We have been assisting the school during the recovery phase by providing support, assistance and links to partner agencies to assist in the recovery," Mr Hamilton said. 

The school, which has a roll of about 470, remained closed today while safety assessments are made of damaged classrooms and surrounding facilities.

The school is working with the Ministry of Education to put in place a plan to relocate those students in years 7 and 8 who have lost their classrooms in the blaze.

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The fire has left more than 100 students without classrooms. Source: 1 NEWS