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Met investigate Poor School fire damage

The Metropolitan Police force is investigating the cause of a fire that damaged parts of the Poor School last week, and has said the blaze is being treated as “suspicious”.

Four fire engines were called to deal with the fire at the Islington stage school shortly after 2am last Wednesday, and it was brought under control at 3.40am. The London Fire Brigade said that around a quarter of the ground floor of the two-storey building had been damaged.

The matter is now being handled by the Met, which has released a statement relating to the incident. It reads: “Police were called at 2:15am on Wednesday, June 22 by London Fire Brigade, to reports of a fire at a commercial premises in Pentonville Road, N1. London Ambulance Service attended as a precaution, but there were no injuries or people in the premises at the time of the incident. The fire is being treated as suspicious at this stage. Investigations continue.”

Paul Caister, founder and head of acting at the Poor School, said all the students were contacted about the situation last Wednesday and the school is now open again with no courses cancelled.

He added that support for the school had been “breathtaking” since the fire occurred. Said Caister: “It is astonishingly gratifying.”

Some of the school’s records were lost during the fire. Because of this, Caister said that if anybody had booked a course, had paid a deposit, or is owed a refund and has not been contacted during the last week, they should email the school directly.

The Poor School was set up in 1986 to provide “acting training which was financially within the reach of all or almost all”.