Fire could cause Rainbow's end

ARSON has not been ruled as the cause of a fire at the Rainbow Cottage Early Learning Centre in Woolgoolga.

The alarm was raised by members of the neighbouring Woolgoolga Art Gallery and residents about 10.30am on Tuesday.

Director Kylie Regan-Dean and pre-school teacher Sasha Riley had been at the centre during the morning preparing for the new term which was meant to begin on Monday.

They had just left the centre to report a number of minor break and enters in the centre over the holidays when the alarm was raised.

In a matter of 22 minutes smoke had started to rise from the roof.

The pair raced into the building to try to douse the fire but the thick smoke beat them back.

Woolgoolga Fire Station sent two trucks and 16 firefighters and Coffs Harbour sent one truck and four firefighters.

Firefighters donned breathing apparatus when they entered the smoke-filled building. Poor visibility made it difficult to find the source of the fire.

Coffs Harbour firefighters used thermal imaging equipment to locate the fire in the storeroom.

Deputy Woolgoolga station commander Darrin Atkins said the store room was destroyed and there was smoke and water damage in several playrooms.

Many of the firefighters had tried to save the pre-school when it was destroyed in a devastating blaze in July, 2005.

The community, members and families of the pre-school had to work hard to rebuild the centre for the district after that event.

“I don’t know if I can do this again, we’ve done it once before,” Ms Regan-Dean said.

Police are investigating the latest fire.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Woolgoolga Police Station on 6654 1244 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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