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Sheffield nursery shut after blaze

Tiddlywinks at the Arbouthorne and Norfolk Park Children's Centre has been closed due to an arson attack. Damage at the rear of the property

Tiddlywinks at the Arbouthorne and Norfolk Park Children's Centre has been closed due to an arson attack. Damage at the rear of the property

A Sheffield children’s centre has been forced to close for two days – after it was deliberately set on fire.

Fire crews from Mansfield Road and Central stations were called to the Tiddlywinks centre – part of Arbourthorne and Norfolk Park Children’s Centre on Eastern Drive in Arbourthorne – at 4am yesterday after it was targeted by an arsonist.

A corridor was fire damaged and there was smoke damage to the building.

Lauretta Robinson, deputy manager at the centre, said: “It’s not a nice thing at all - it’s horrible.

“They have broken a window and forced a shutter.

“We are closing for two days and staff are busy ringing around parents to let them know.”

She urged parents to contact the centre, which caters for 100 children, on Monday as they were not sure whether it would be able to reopen then.

Lauretta said: “The police have been here and scenes of crime officers.

“The fire damage isn’t as bad as we thought – just one corridor is affected.

“However, there is smoke damage to the building.”

A South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue spokeswoman said: “A Sheffield children’s centre was deliberately set on fire during the early hours of Thursday.

“Two fire engines from Mansfield Road and Central stations were called to the centre on Eastern Drive, Arbourthorne, at 4am.

“Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus quickly extinguished the fire, which was in a back corridor of the single storey detached building.”

A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “Police were informed of a fire at premises in Eastern Drive, Sheffield, at about 4am on Thursday.

“The fire is believed to have been started deliberately and enquiries are ongoing.”

Fire crews left the scene at 5.15am.

n Parents can contact the centre on 0114 253 1377.

n Anyone with information about the fire is asked to call police on 101.

 

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