School worker saves hall

By Alison King, Gary Hamilton-Irvine

Some quick thinking from a school caretaker saved a hall from being badly damaged after a deliberately lit couch fire.

A small fire was lit in the main hall of Owhata Primary School on Brent Rd yesterday about 11.30am.

Rotorua police Inspector Ed Van Den Broek said the fire was being treated as suspicious and police were "following positive lines of inquiry".

Police expect to arrest those they believe responsible.

"At first I thought it was a false alarm. We took everyone down on to the school field and that's when I saw some flames in the hall," said Owhata School principal Bob Stiles

He said all the students were safely on the field when he shot back up to the hall to attend to the fire. "It was an old couch someone had set on fire. The caretaker managed to put the fire out with a fire hose."

Mr Stiles said the caretaker and a couple of pupils had seen a student from a different school lingering around the area before the fire.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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