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Primary school defiant after bonfire arson

PUBLISHED: 15:23 02 November 2017 | UPDATED: 09:46 04 November 2017

Kenninghall Primary School's bonfire was set on fire. Picture: Dianne Kemp

Kenninghall Primary School's bonfire was set on fire. Picture: Dianne Kemp

Archant

“You can’t dampen our spirits” - that was the message from a primary school after its firework display was put in jeopardy by an arson attack.

Kenninghall Primary School had been collecting firewood to create its bonfire for this year’s firework celebrations on Sunday, November 5.

But on the afternoon of Wednesday, November 1 the bonfire was set alight.

A crew from Attleborough attended the fire in Quidenham Road, Kenninghall and believed it was started deliberately.

But by the time the fire had been extinguished, there was little left of the school’s bonfire.

One witness said they saw a van drive onto the site and unloading items onto the bonfire, before setting fire to the pile and leaving.

It was only until neighbouring houses that back onto the site saw the flames that emergency services were alerted.

Dianne Kemp, chairman of the Friends of Kenninghall and head of the PTA, said: “Whoever has done this has seen it is a bonfire - it was obviously a bonfire as we have firework signs everywhere.

“It is clearly devastating for us. We have a lot of competition this year for our fireworks but the one thing that we do have compared to others is our bonfire.”

The school and the community had been collecting wood for more than a month, with family, friends, and members of the community coming together to support the display. All the money raised goes back into the school.

“We have been able to save a little bit of it,” Mrs Kemp added. “A local farmer has been able to help and has salvage around a quarter of it.

“We already have people in the community stepping forward to try and get as much wood to use as possible but if we can get any more that would be great.”

Kenninghall Primary School has brought in professional firework display team Titanium Fireworks, famous for also doing the New Year’s Eve fireworks in London.

She added: “It will still be amazing. We still have hot chocolates and a bar for the classic fire display. We won’t let whoever did this stop us.

“We are lucky enough to live in a very lovely village and everyone has come together to support each other and have really helped us out.

“It was obviously our bonfire. We have all have things going on in our lives but I can’t believe someone was this cruel.”

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