A 16-year-old boy has been taken into custody on suspicion of arson following a significant fire at the London Oratory School in Fulham, southwest London, according to the Metropolitan Police. The incident occurred on Wednesday morning, causing substantial alarm in the local community.
Over 70 firefighters were dispatched to the scene after the blaze was reported around 10 a.m. The Metropolitan Police confirmed the teenager’s arrest at approximately 11.15 a.m. The fire, which engulfed an atrium in a four-storey building with a basement, is now under control, with no reported injuries, as per the London Fire Brigade.
A spokesperson for the London Fire Brigade detailed the extent of the response, noting the involvement of fire crews from Fulham, Chelsea, Kensington, Wandsworth, Hammersmith, Clapham, Lambeth, and Soho stations. While the cause of the fire remains under investigation, the prompt action of the firefighters prevented further escalation.
The London Ambulance Service was present at the scene, issuing a public advisory via social media platform X. The statement urged residents to avoid the area and keep their windows closed, highlighting the deployment of an incident response officer and a hazardous area response team.
In addition to the immediate vicinity of the school, a nearby shopping center and several residential properties were evacuated as a precautionary measure. The Metropolitan Police have enforced road closures and continue to advise the public to steer clear of the area.
A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police underscored the uncertainty surrounding potential injuries within the school and reiterated that the cause of the fire is under active investigation.
This incident has prompted heightened concern among residents and authorities alike, as they await further details on the circumstances leading to the fire and the implications for community safety.