Felsted fire: Building may have to be pulled down

THE Felsted community has been left in shock following the devastating fire which ripped through FollyField House on Sunday night.

The girls’ boarding house was gutted by the huge fire which took until Monday night to fully extinguish.

Deputy head Chris Townsend recalled hearing the terrible news.

“I got a call from a member of staff as I was driving back from London after a christening. I saw smoke as I was going past Stansted.

“Driving past on the road it looks like there maybe something there to be saved but from the back it is considerably different. The metal framework of the building expanded in the heat which has damaged the brick work.

“The structural assessors are back in again tomorrow (Thursday). It has not been confirmed yet but we would be very surprised if we didn’t have to pull it down and start again.”

Despite the devastation, Mr Townsend said the response from the community had been fantastic and the school is taking steps resolve the situation.

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“The response has been really positive. There is a sense of sadness but the overall feeling is one of determination, especially from FollyField.

“We are looking at various options and we have a meeting on Friday where we need to finalise exactly what we are going to do so plans came become a reality.

“The summer holidays have only just begun but it is not that long to September so we have to make a decision soon. That will give us time to talk to residential staff, parents and the girls affected.

“The rest of the school up and running and will continue as normal in September.”

He also stressed that, contrary to reports in some national newspapers, no damage had been done to Felsted Preparatory School.