Three buildings destroyed in fire at school in 10 days

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THREE fires in a space of about 10 days have disrupted classes at Hamapiyaka Lutheran International School.
The fires saw three buildings in the school in the Wapenamanda electorate of Enga destroyed.
The buildings were the principal’s house, a female dormitory and a complex containing six classrooms.
On May 5, the first fire razed complex building at about 7pm, destroying teaching materials, personal items, children’s books and furniture.
This was followed by a suspension of classes for a week to relocate the children into a new classroom while police investigated.
But last Thursday another fire burnt down the principal’s house and other properties at about 2am.
On Tuesday at around 2pm, the only girl’s dormitory went up in flames.
Principal Trevina Gima said the burnt complex building accommodated 150 students from pre-schoolers, pre-kindergarten and up to grade three. Provincial police commander Chief Supt Joseph Tondop confirmed the incidents.
“The three buildings were burnt down in a space of 10 days and that is unbelievable,” he said.
“Community leaders living next to school, staff and residents are not providing information to help police end this madness.”
Tondop said police claimed that the culprit who set the buildings alight had used flammable liquid and paper.
“Previously the school lost two administrative buildings, the latest was last year. Governor Sir Peter Ipatas through the Enga children fund, is constructing the building. I’m appealing to community leaders from Ambulyin tribe together with the staff and students to come forward with good information and not theories,” Tondop said.
“The third building was set on fire without any trace again.”
He said four ancillary staff were in police custody for the first incident and a woman was brought in for questioning for the second incident.
Two other suspects had been taken in for questioning in relation to the third case.

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