Orara High School captains Anna Fry and Stanley Nelson visit Coffs Harbour Fire Station to present a letter of appreciation for efforts that minimised fire damage to the school.
Orara High School captains Anna Fry and Stanley Nelson visit Coffs Harbour Fire Station to present a letter of appreciation for efforts that minimised fire damage to the school. Contributed

School grateful to firies

COFFS Coast firefighters have been sent a touching thank-you gift from a school they helped defend during a suspected arson attack last month.

About 30 firefighters were needed to control the November 28 blaze that destroyed Orara High School’s industrial arts block, causing close to $100,000 in damage.

School captains Anna Fry and Stanley Nelson this week visited Coffs Harbour Fire Station to present a letter of appreciation for the firefighters’ efforts, which prevented the blaze from spreading to other parts of the school

NSW Fire and Rescue Mid North Coast Commander Inspector Tony Lenthall said six trucks and a hazmat unit were tasked to the school, with crews from Coffs Harbour, Sawtell, Urunga and Woolgoolga responding.

“The first-arriving crews noticed heavy fire on the second level and quickly applied water to stop the spread travelling laterally through the building,” Insp Lenthall said.

“It was difficult to access because of large gates but it was a timely response and quick action worked to stop the fire spreading to other parts of the school.”

Insp Lenthall said while the firefighters were just doing their jobs, it was nice to receive recognition from the school.

“It is something special when a community makes an acknowledgement which thanks the dedication of firefighters,” he said.

Principal Manfred Sonntag said the school community was working to overcome the setback.



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