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Fire at old school

Former St Matthews Infants School, now derelict and vandalised.
Former St Matthews Infants School, now derelict and vandalised.

St Matthew's school. Libary picture before the blaze

Fire crews tackled a blaze at a disused school in Borstal yesterday afternoon.

Around 10 firefighters from Medway and Strood stations were called to the former St Matthew's Infants School in Sidney Road at around 4:30pm.

Some rubbish was alight within the building and firefighters broke in and used breathing apparatus to fight the fire.

A large high-powered fan was used to clear the building of smoke. Crews spent around two hours at the scene.

The school closed in 2005 when it merged with Borstal Manor Junior School to form the Pilgrim School. The building was auctioned in 2007 and is owned by the London investment firm Rose Properties.

In August it was revealed the school could become a rehabilitation centre for soldiers who have committed crimes. A key adviser behind the scheme to create Britain’s first Heroes Centre is convicted fraudster Farah Damji, who infamously blogged while on the run from prison in 2006.

There was a fire at the school in September last year when arsonists set light to rubbish inside the buildng.

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