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Dorset - school fires


This school was provisioned with lightning protection but has it worked properly?   Fortunately for the children the fire occurred during the Christmas holidays.

Click on the link  opposite  and scroll down to see an aerial view of the extensive damage. From this footage it looks as though there are 3 or 4 buildings burnt out.  Hence, there were some serious fire hazard issues here to allow this type of fire to spread.

You Tube video of the Lytchett Minster School fire.

Horrifying photo of the school ablaze.

The aftermath of the blaze. Fortunately on this occasion there were no bodybags.

Click opposite to read the Ofstead Report for Lytchett Minster School.

Below is the text of an email sent by Mr Dransfield to Ofstead regarding the worrying health and safety issues at Lytchett Minster School in Dorset:-

"From: alan dransfield <>
Date: Sat, Jan 19, 2013 at 9:22 PM
To: Paul Dye <>
Cc: Richard Bailey <>, BRADSHAW Ben <>, Vereena Jones <>
Attn of the Whistleblower Team Leader Paul Dye
Dear Mr Dye
Please find the OFSTED report for the Lytchett Minster School in Dorset. In particular, I draw your attention to Para 40 of the attached report which specifically refers to Health and Safety issues at this school.
I am somewhat concerned at Para 40 and the OFSTED reference to Health &Safety Issues because OFSTED has informed me on more than one occasion that Health and Safety issues involving the School Buildings DO NOT COME UNDER THE OFSTED REMIT.
In particular, I refer to the H&S issues which, I have raised ref the 6 PFI schools in Exeter and more recently the Lychett Minster School in Dorset.
I now wish to make a formal complaint against you for giving me false and misleading information ref H&S issues with School Buildings.
I look forward to hearing from the OFSTED Complaints Manager.

With thanks

Yours sincerely

Alan M Dransfield"

Email from Mr Dransfield to the Chief Executive of Dorset.
"From: alan dransfield
Sent: Sunday, January 20, 2013 9:32 AM

Attn Debbie Ward CEO of Dorset County Council(DCC)
Dear Madam
I wish to inform the CEO of the DCC of my concerns for Public Safety at Lychett Minster School (LMS). I have been informed by the DCC FOIA department that the LMS school had not been provisioned with any Lightning Risk Assessment.(LRA)
In view of the fact the LMS was destroyed by a serious Fire caused by Lightning, I find it most disconcerting that the LMS was not provisioned with any LRA as per prescribed by BS-EN 62305/2008.
DCC are on record to me that they did not provision the LRA because the schools WAS protected with Lightning Protection System (LPS) This is, at best, a myth and at worst, grossly or criminally negligent
I accept that the full facts regarding the recent fire have not been published yet but from my observations from Video Footage and other research,I hold the following concerns.
1.The Lightning Protection System(LPS) obviously malfunctioned or was not installed or maintained properly and this may have been caused by the absence of any LRA.
2.,The Pitch Roof was not provisioned with the Fire Proof Insulation Boards,as required by Building Regulations.This can be clearly see from video footage and would explain the rapid spread of the fire
3.The LMS school was not provisioned with any fire proofing of is steel structures,i.e fire boarding or intumescent fire proofed paint.
4. Early reports claim that sprinklers could not be used on the LMS owing to Poor Water Pressure, which, is nonsense because a proper designed sprinkler system would include its own water storage tank.
5.In the event of the above facts the LMS Public Liability Insurance Cover "could be "revoked.
Owing to the above , we must assume the remaining sections of the school are NOT been provisioned with any LRA or indeed if the remaining sections have not been provisioned with adequate LPS.
Please do not hesitate to contact me should you need further clarification
.with thanks
Yours sincerey
Alan M Dransfield "

Scientist killed by lightning on a bridge. What a tragedy.

Email sent on 23rd January 2013 at 09.04

Dorset Fire Authority
Dear Andy

I fully appreciate you are currently compiling your official report on the subject title but I thought I might offer my observations from the Photographs and Video Footage in the Public Domain as not to be accused of Jumping on the Bandwagon post your report.They are:

1.Lightning Protection Systems LPS.
From public domain photos and video,it is clear that LPS was installed but I have major concerns if it was installed correctly. In particular, the Down Conductor (DC)of the LPS were installed UNDER the pitch roof(inside the building) from the Roof Finnial to the exterior vertical wall then on the outside down the wall to the Ground Rod, which is not SOP or good practice because if the DC insulation had been damaged during installation or since it was installed it could have been the Root Cause of the Fire because the Lightning Strike Force was dissipated onto flammable materials,wood,felt etc, as OPPOSED to being dissipated to the ground level earth rod.

2.Lightning Risk Assessment LRA
The Dorset County Council (DCC) have already informed me that they did not conduct any LRA which also could be the root cause of the Fire. The DCC claim that since the School was provisioned with LPS it wasn't necessary to carry out any LRA. At best this is a MYTH and at worst,it is criminally negligent.

3.Pitch Roof Insulation. (PRI)
It is clearly evident from Public Domain footage that the Pitch Roof had not been provisioned with any Fire Retardant Insulation Board which could be the root cause of the fire and the Rapid Spread of the Fire.

4. Intermescent Fire Proof Paint/Fire Board.(IFPP-FB
It would appear that the steel structures of the school building had not been provisioned with any IFPP-FB, which, would explain the rapid spread of the fire and structural collapse of the Building.

5.Sprinkler System (SS)
It has been confirmed that the school had not been provisioned with any SS owing to the poor water pressure of the local water supply. Such reasoning,beggars belief because modern SS include an integral Storage Tank and Pumping System therefore, a properly installed SS would have prevented the rapid spread of the fire spreading thru' the multiple Buildings.

6.Building Control (BC) Building Regulation ( BR)
In the event of the above being correct statements,it would indicate serious duty of care failures by the appropriate Oversight Authorities, who, accepted the Building and Commissioned the school for use.

Please do not think I am interfering with your role of Fire Investigation Officer but I have considerable experience in the Building Industry and Lightning Protection in particular.I also have a desire to ensure Public Safety and have a positive input for LESSONS LEARNT.
I look forward to reading your report.

With thanks

Yours sincerely
Alan M Dransfield.

Email sent by Alan Dransfield on 7th March 2013 at 07.14

Dear Madam

Dorset County Council are as incompetent as the Department of Education. It will suffice my purposes to have informed the DoE regarding this matter.
Let's wait until the Body Bags are required then shall we??

with thanks

Alan M Dransfield

On Fri, Mar 1, 2013 at 2:27 PM, <> wrote:

Dear Mr Dransfield ,

Thank you for your email dated 22nd February 2013 about School Building deficiencies.

I have again sought guidance on the queries you have raised and am advised we have nothing to add to our previous response.  You will need to address your concerns to Dorset County Council.

Your correspondence has been allocated reference number 2013/0013288. If you need to respond to us, please visit, and quote your reference number.
Yours sincerely,

Anita Hathaway
EFA Capital


Susan Jefferies <>; BROOKE, Annette <>; Susan Jefferies <>; <>; <> sent 08/03/2013 at 08.12

Dear All

I hold serious concerns for the safety of the children and the staff at the Lychett Minster school and I believe the Headmaster and Board of Governors to be criminally negligent in allowing the school to operate in a legal void for several years owing to LPS failures.

There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that the Root Cause to the Fire on Dec 27th last year was caused by a Lightning Stike. Moreover, the Root Cause of the Fire and the RAPID SPREAD was due to Building Regulations Failures of multiple facet failures which were known or should have been known at that time.Confirmation of my allegations are verified in the Dorset Fire Authority report of the school fire last Dec.

Not only was the LPS installed in a SUBSTANDARD manner the school failed to provide a Lightning Risk Assessment (LRA) as per BS-EN 62305/08. In a nutshell the School has NOT been provisioned with adequate LPS and LRA as required by Law.
I cannot over emphasise the importance of of BOTH LPS AND LRA.

with thanks

Yours sincerely

Alan M Dransfield


Email sent 09/03/2013 at 06.57

Members of Lychett Minster Council

Ladies and Gentlemen

I am writing to a cross selection of Councillors in the Lychett Minster Area to alert them to a serious malfunction of the Lychett Minster School (LMS). As you are all aware, there was a serious fire caused by Lightning in Dec last year which destroyed a large part of the school which is currently being rebuilt.

There is no doubt in my mind that this fire should and could have been avoided and I call upon you all to read the Dorset Fire Authority Report, which,in my view fails to identify serious building irregularities at the school.

I have brought such matters to the attention of the Dorset County Council and the Head Teacher, who have failed to investigate my allegations.

The ROOT CAUSE of the Fire is twofold. Firstly, the Lightning Protection System (LPS)at the school HAD been installed to a VERY LOW standard of LPS and should NOT have been accepted by the Dorset Planning Authority.Secondly, the LMS had not been provisioned with any Lightning Risk Assessment (LRA) in accordance with the BS_EN62305/08.

In a nutshell, the LPS was unfit for purpose and is clearly demonstrated by the DFA report photographs.

Both the Dorset CC and the school had made a SERIOUS ERROR of Judgement by claiming LRA is NOT required if LPS have been installed . In the event that LRA had been undertaken sometime between 08 and 12, the LPS irregularities WOULD HAVE been identified.

Not for one moment am I claiming the LMS had not been provisioned with any LPS but I AM claiming the LPS was SO BADLY installed it failed to save the school because it was unfit or purpose.

Moreover and more importantly, there were other FACTORS which allowed the LMS to operate in a Legal Void since it was rebuilt in 2001 which were NOT identified by the Dorest Fire Authority

1. Fire retardant insulation boards was NOT installed in the roof space which allowed the Fire to spread at an alarming spread rate. THIS WAS NOT IDENTIFIED by the DFA???.

2. Sprinklers system would have saved the school.

3.Fire Precaution such as intrumiscent paint and fire boarding were not used.This was not identified by the DFA???

I am also very critical of the Dorset Fire Authority (DFA) because the Lead Investigative Officer appears to have been woefully inexperienced for such a task and the first para of the DFA report confirms his inexperience. LRA is NOT even mentioned in the DFA report, neither are the LPS Testing mentioned.

Whilst the Theatre and Science block was destroyed, it must be assumed that the remaining premises of the LMS are protected with the same SLAP HAPPY LPS and are NOT provisioned with any LRA.

I call upon you to seek a full Safety Audit of the remaining Buildings at LMS with a specific eye for LPS and LRA.

I have absolutely no doubt that Public Liability Insurance Cover would be revoked in the event of a Professional Fire Investigation being conducted at LMS.

What lessons have been learned from the LMS Fire ? I would hazard a guess than NO LESSONS have been learnt, there is a situation where the Headmaster thinks he is God and allows Sloppy and Inadequate engineering design and construction methods to be used solely as cost cutting savings.

How many other schools under the Dorset CC are in a similar TARDY state ref their LPS AND LRA.

There are public statements made by various parties whom claim that severity of the Lightning Strike would have destroyed the school anyway. I do not subscibe to that argument and I INSIST that if the LPS had been installed properly in the first Instance AND been tested and maintained in a professional manner INCLUDING a LRA this fire would have been avoided.

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you need any further clarification.

with thanks

Alan M Dransfield
NB The Vicar of Lychett Minster.
Shall we wait until Body Bags are required before you ensure the safety of your flock?


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