UPDATED: Firefighters tackle blaze at Wycombe grammar school

Bucks Free Press: Firefighters tackle blaze at Wycombe grammar school Firefighters tackle blaze at Wycombe grammar school

A CARETAKER was airlifted to hospital following an explosion and fire at a building on the site of John Hampden Grammar School.

Buckinghamshire County Council has confirmed that the caretaker from the High Wycombe school was taken to hospital.

He is believed to have suffered burn injuries following the explosion at his home on the school premises – described by witnesses as 'like a bomb had been dropped'.

The council confirmed no-one else had been injured in the incident, which happened at 2.05pm, and all students had been evacuated from the Handy Cross-based school.

Bucks Free Press: John Hampden explosion 2

This evening head teacher Stephen Nokes told the Bucks Free Press the incident and the injuries to the caretaker had "left a lot of people in a state of shock".

But he added that the school's safety procedures for pupils had been effective: "It went brilliantly well in terms of evacuation safety."

Parent of 15-year-old twins and school pupils Jonathan and Adam Russell, Paula Russell, said she heard a huge explosion from her place of work close to the school.

She said: “I was pretty worried, it felt like someone had dropped a bomb on the building.

“I ran over to there and a block of smoke was coming out of the caretaker's house.”

She added that a friend heard the blast from a bank in High Wycombe town centre.

Bucks Free Press: John Hampden Fire

The above smoke-filled photo was taken by a Wycombe High School pupil, who said students heard the bang at their neighbouring school.

Paul Stanford, whose 14-year-old son Alexander attends the school, said: "I was worried sick. It was an explosion in the caretaker's house but I was told all the kids are OK."

Builder Angel Angelov, 42, was working on the housing development opposite when the explosion happened. He said: "It was a big, big bang - I was on top of one of the houses and the whole thing was shaking."

Another resident who lives close to the school, but who did not wish to be named, described the explosion as a "gut-wrenching bang".

The woman - whose son also attends the school - explained that "her legs gave way" when she realised the school was involved.

On approaching the site she saw the windows of the caretaker's house had blown out.

Bucks Free Press: John Hampden Grammar School explosion

Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue deployed three appliances from High Wycombe and a turntable ladder to tackle the blaze.

Thames Valley Police cordoned off the A404 Marlow Hill between the Handy Cross roundabout and the A40 to allow firefighters and the Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance to land at the scene.

The roads were reopened at about 3.20pm.

The school has announced on its website that all of today's after school activities have been cancelled.

It is expected to be open as normal tomorrow.

Comments (38)

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2:37pm Thu 4 Nov 10

WycombeDad says...

I felt the explosion and I live maybe half a mile away. I hope everyone is okay. Lots of sirens and an air ambulance already. Apparently Marlow Hill is shut.
I felt the explosion and I live maybe half a mile away. I hope everyone is okay. Lots of sirens and an air ambulance already. Apparently Marlow Hill is shut. WycombeDad
  • Score: 0

2:41pm Thu 4 Nov 10

WycombeDad says...

Just read on Facebook that the caretaker's house was what exploded.
Just read on Facebook that the caretaker's house was what exploded. WycombeDad
  • Score: 0

2:42pm Thu 4 Nov 10

deecee01 says...

Caretakers's house has exploded.
Caretakers's house has exploded. deecee01
  • Score: 0

2:49pm Thu 4 Nov 10

J B Blackett says...

I hope nobody is hurt.
I hope nobody is hurt. J B Blackett
  • Score: 0

2:55pm Thu 4 Nov 10

ultsounds says...

The caretaker was in the building when it exploded. He is injured but alive.
The caretaker was in the building when it exploded. He is injured but alive. ultsounds
  • Score: 0

3:01pm Thu 4 Nov 10

SiaWood says...

I felt the exposion, we had to stay inside for ages. we've been told that no students were hurt though.
I felt the exposion, we had to stay inside for ages. we've been told that no students were hurt though. SiaWood
  • Score: 0

3:03pm Thu 4 Nov 10

deecee01 says...

All children are safe, caretaker on his way to hospital in Air Ambulance.
All children are safe, caretaker on his way to hospital in Air Ambulance. deecee01
  • Score: 0

3:08pm Thu 4 Nov 10

stealthb2 says...

glad everyone is safe, hope the caretaker makes a full recovery. Not looking forward to trying to get home later from Aylesbury though! Am sure the emergency services will do their best to get things back to normal as quickly as possible.
glad everyone is safe, hope the caretaker makes a full recovery. Not looking forward to trying to get home later from Aylesbury though! Am sure the emergency services will do their best to get things back to normal as quickly as possible. stealthb2
  • Score: 0

3:20pm Thu 4 Nov 10

SiaWood says...

do we know what caused the explosion yet?
do we know what caused the explosion yet? SiaWood
  • Score: 0

4:24pm Thu 4 Nov 10

Welwyn Dowd says...

It never ceases to amaze me how many people know what bombs going off sound like. They've all done tours of duty in the armed forces I take it, or perhaps street life in Buckinghamshire is rougher than I ever imagined?
It never ceases to amaze me how many people know what bombs going off sound like. They've all done tours of duty in the armed forces I take it, or perhaps street life in Buckinghamshire is rougher than I ever imagined? Welwyn Dowd
  • Score: 0

5:03pm Thu 4 Nov 10

JhgsLad says...

we were all very scared at the time it happend the floor shook and no1 got information but the house was completely black and we sat around with no information for 2 hours and we had to be escorted of the premisis, scary.
we were all very scared at the time it happend the floor shook and no1 got information but the house was completely black and we sat around with no information for 2 hours and we had to be escorted of the premisis, scary. JhgsLad
  • Score: 0

5:05pm Thu 4 Nov 10

Lime53 says...

The caretakers building "exploded" like a bomb "explodes" so one can only assume it would sound similar. I hope the caretaker recovers quickly and I will be checking the school website to see if it is open tomorrow. I will assume it is.
The caretakers building "exploded" like a bomb "explodes" so one can only assume it would sound similar. I hope the caretaker recovers quickly and I will be checking the school website to see if it is open tomorrow. I will assume it is. Lime53
  • Score: 0

6:15pm Thu 4 Nov 10

dr death says...

Welwyn Dowd wrote:
It never ceases to amaze me how many people know what bombs going off sound like. They've all done tours of duty in the armed forces I take it, or perhaps street life in Buckinghamshire is rougher than I ever imagined?
as to ur silly comment welwyn i heard it and it sounds just like a bomb going off. i just come bac from my 3rd tour in iraq so i know what a bomb sounds like lets hope u never have to hear one going off
[quote][p][bold]Welwyn Dowd[/bold] wrote: It never ceases to amaze me how many people know what bombs going off sound like. They've all done tours of duty in the armed forces I take it, or perhaps street life in Buckinghamshire is rougher than I ever imagined?[/p][/quote]as to ur silly comment welwyn i heard it and it sounds just like a bomb going off. i just come bac from my 3rd tour in iraq so i know what a bomb sounds like lets hope u never have to hear one going off dr death
  • Score: 0

6:16pm Thu 4 Nov 10

RogerC says...

JhgsLad wrote:
we were all very scared at the time it happend the floor shook and no1 got information but the house was completely black and we sat around with no information for 2 hours and we had to be escorted of the premisis, scary.
you got to a Grammar school with spelling like that?
[quote][p][bold]JhgsLad[/bold] wrote: we were all very scared at the time it happend the floor shook and no1 got information but the house was completely black and we sat around with no information for 2 hours and we had to be escorted of the premisis, scary.[/p][/quote]you got to a Grammar school with spelling like that? RogerC
  • Score: 0

6:26pm Thu 4 Nov 10

nat27 says...

RogerC wrote:
JhgsLad wrote: we were all very scared at the time it happend the floor shook and no1 got information but the house was completely black and we sat around with no information for 2 hours and we had to be escorted of the premisis, scary.
you got to a Grammar school with spelling like that?
That's exactly what I was thinking.
[quote][p][bold]RogerC[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]JhgsLad[/bold] wrote: we were all very scared at the time it happend the floor shook and no1 got information but the house was completely black and we sat around with no information for 2 hours and we had to be escorted of the premisis, scary.[/p][/quote]you got to a Grammar school with spelling like that?[/p][/quote]That's exactly what I was thinking. nat27
  • Score: 0

6:45pm Thu 4 Nov 10

BonsallJRfromJHGS says...

YH thts called txt speak and i wat well scary sum lik poor yr7s were freaking out :s
YH thts called txt speak and i wat well scary sum lik poor yr7s were freaking out :s BonsallJRfromJHGS
  • Score: 0

7:04pm Thu 4 Nov 10

erm says...

Welwyn Dowd wrote:
It never ceases to amaze me how many people know what bombs going off sound like. They've all done tours of duty in the armed forces I take it, or perhaps street life in Buckinghamshire is rougher than I ever imagined?
it's called living near London during the 40's, 70's, 80's, 90's and 2000's
[quote][p][bold]Welwyn Dowd[/bold] wrote: It never ceases to amaze me how many people know what bombs going off sound like. They've all done tours of duty in the armed forces I take it, or perhaps street life in Buckinghamshire is rougher than I ever imagined?[/p][/quote]it's called living near London during the 40's, 70's, 80's, 90's and 2000's erm
  • Score: 0

7:06pm Thu 4 Nov 10

erm says...

dr death wrote:
Welwyn Dowd wrote: It never ceases to amaze me how many people know what bombs going off sound like. They've all done tours of duty in the armed forces I take it, or perhaps street life in Buckinghamshire is rougher than I ever imagined?
as to ur silly comment welwyn i heard it and it sounds just like a bomb going off. i just come bac from my 3rd tour in iraq so i know what a bomb sounds like lets hope u never have to hear one going off
didn't we pull out in April 2009? Did they leave you behind?
[quote][p][bold]dr death[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Welwyn Dowd[/bold] wrote: It never ceases to amaze me how many people know what bombs going off sound like. They've all done tours of duty in the armed forces I take it, or perhaps street life in Buckinghamshire is rougher than I ever imagined?[/p][/quote]as to ur silly comment welwyn i heard it and it sounds just like a bomb going off. i just come bac from my 3rd tour in iraq so i know what a bomb sounds like lets hope u never have to hear one going off[/p][/quote]didn't we pull out in April 2009? Did they leave you behind? erm
  • Score: 0

7:15pm Thu 4 Nov 10

honeybee3 says...

I know the caretaker & just wanted to say u r in my thoughts hope your ok & make a speedy recovery xxx
I know the caretaker & just wanted to say u r in my thoughts hope your ok & make a speedy recovery xxx honeybee3
  • Score: 0

7:59pm Thu 4 Nov 10

dr death says...

erm wrote:
dr death wrote:
Welwyn Dowd wrote: It never ceases to amaze me how many people know what bombs going off sound like. They've all done tours of duty in the armed forces I take it, or perhaps street life in Buckinghamshire is rougher than I ever imagined?
as to ur silly comment welwyn i heard it and it sounds just like a bomb going off. i just come bac from my 3rd tour in iraq so i know what a bomb sounds like lets hope u never have to hear one going off
didn't we pull out in April 2009? Did they leave you behind?
most have but not all i take it u take everything in the goverment tell u
[quote][p][bold]erm[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]dr death[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Welwyn Dowd[/bold] wrote: It never ceases to amaze me how many people know what bombs going off sound like. They've all done tours of duty in the armed forces I take it, or perhaps street life in Buckinghamshire is rougher than I ever imagined?[/p][/quote]as to ur silly comment welwyn i heard it and it sounds just like a bomb going off. i just come bac from my 3rd tour in iraq so i know what a bomb sounds like lets hope u never have to hear one going off[/p][/quote]didn't we pull out in April 2009? Did they leave you behind?[/p][/quote]most have but not all i take it u take everything in the goverment tell u dr death
  • Score: 0

8:04pm Thu 4 Nov 10

regis says...

is the caretaker still Terry (Tezza)?
is the caretaker still Terry (Tezza)? regis
  • Score: 0

8:25pm Thu 4 Nov 10

Layla Healey says...

dr death wrote:
erm wrote:
dr death wrote:
Welwyn Dowd wrote: It never ceases to amaze me how many people know what bombs going off sound like. They've all done tours of duty in the armed forces I take it, or perhaps street life in Buckinghamshire is rougher than I ever imagined?
as to ur silly comment welwyn i heard it and it sounds just like a bomb going off. i just come bac from my 3rd tour in iraq so i know what a bomb sounds like lets hope u never have to hear one going off
didn't we pull out in April 2009? Did they leave you behind?
most have but not all i take it u take everything in the goverment tell u
Surely it is really neither appropriate or the time to be having this type of quarrel. Personally I would like to send my thoughts to the caretaker that was injured and his family.
[quote][p][bold]dr death[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]erm[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]dr death[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Welwyn Dowd[/bold] wrote: It never ceases to amaze me how many people know what bombs going off sound like. They've all done tours of duty in the armed forces I take it, or perhaps street life in Buckinghamshire is rougher than I ever imagined?[/p][/quote]as to ur silly comment welwyn i heard it and it sounds just like a bomb going off. i just come bac from my 3rd tour in iraq so i know what a bomb sounds like lets hope u never have to hear one going off[/p][/quote]didn't we pull out in April 2009? Did they leave you behind?[/p][/quote]most have but not all i take it u take everything in the goverment tell u[/p][/quote]Surely it is really neither appropriate or the time to be having this type of quarrel. Personally I would like to send my thoughts to the caretaker that was injured and his family. Layla Healey
  • Score: 0

9:36pm Thu 4 Nov 10

JP80 says...

@erm he's trying to tell you he's in the SAS, but would probably be mystified as to the colour of the boathouse
.
Wish the caretaker well, hope he's not seriously hurt
@erm he's trying to tell you he's in the SAS, but would probably be mystified as to the colour of the boathouse . Wish the caretaker well, hope he's not seriously hurt JP80
  • Score: 0

10:33pm Thu 4 Nov 10

Sarah R Smith says...

I'm pleased to see that the BFP moderators (if there are any) are doing their job properly! I saw some rather unpleasant comments this afternoon (which have been removed). I seriously hope that the school caretaker is OK.
I'm pleased to see that the BFP moderators (if there are any) are doing their job properly! I saw some rather unpleasant comments this afternoon (which have been removed). I seriously hope that the school caretaker is OK. Sarah R Smith
  • Score: 0

10:44pm Thu 4 Nov 10

PINKYPATEL says...

im so glad all the children are safe and i hope the caretaker gets better asap! does anyone know how it happened x x
im so glad all the children are safe and i hope the caretaker gets better asap! does anyone know how it happened x x PINKYPATEL
  • Score: 0

12:00am Fri 5 Nov 10

mo-at-hw says...

Yeah it was a gas explosion, hence the 3/4 gas vans parked outside the school. Weird though, would have thought the caretaker would have smelt gas unless he had and was going to check why the smell was there. Hope he gets better soon, very nice guy...
Yeah it was a gas explosion, hence the 3/4 gas vans parked outside the school. Weird though, would have thought the caretaker would have smelt gas unless he had and was going to check why the smell was there. Hope he gets better soon, very nice guy... mo-at-hw
  • Score: 0

12:44am Fri 5 Nov 10

erm says...

JP80 wrote:
@erm he's trying to tell you he's in the SAS, but would probably be mystified as to the colour of the boathouse . Wish the caretaker well, hope he's not seriously hurt
We never did find out the colour of the boathouse, or what was in that briefcase.

I too wish the caretaker all the best
[quote][p][bold]JP80[/bold] wrote: @erm he's trying to tell you he's in the SAS, but would probably be mystified as to the colour of the boathouse . Wish the caretaker well, hope he's not seriously hurt[/p][/quote]We never did find out the colour of the boathouse, or what was in that briefcase. I too wish the caretaker all the best erm
  • Score: 0

12:55am Fri 5 Nov 10

demoness says...

People may moan about Stoke Mandeville but thankfully for this poor man it is the regional burns unit so hopefully he will make a good and safe recovery and get the correct treatment immediately.
People may moan about Stoke Mandeville but thankfully for this poor man it is the regional burns unit so hopefully he will make a good and safe recovery and get the correct treatment immediately. demoness
  • Score: 0

6:50am Fri 5 Nov 10

BenjaminH58 says...

I Felt It As Far As Downley About the Miles Away
I Felt It As Far As Downley About the Miles Away BenjaminH58
  • Score: 0

6:56am Fri 5 Nov 10

BenjaminH58 says...

I felt it as far as Downley about Three miles away
I felt it as far as Downley about Three miles away BenjaminH58
  • Score: 0

10:15am Fri 5 Nov 10

nat27 says...

I work in Wycombe hospital. I didn't feel a thing. Strange.

And if it was air ambulance that picked him up, would that not go to John Radcliff? Instead of Stoke?
I work in Wycombe hospital. I didn't feel a thing. Strange. And if it was air ambulance that picked him up, would that not go to John Radcliff? Instead of Stoke? nat27
  • Score: 0

10:26am Fri 5 Nov 10

demoness says...

@ nat27.
See my post - Stoke is the regional burn unit and is closer than Oxford so that is why he would have gone there :)
@ nat27. See my post - Stoke is the regional burn unit and is closer than Oxford so that is why he would have gone there :) demoness
  • Score: 0

10:40am Fri 5 Nov 10

nat27 says...

Oh ok. Thanks. :o)
Oh ok. Thanks. :o) nat27
  • Score: 0

4:33pm Fri 5 Nov 10

dr death says...

nat27 wrote:
I work in Wycombe hospital. I didn't feel a thing. Strange. And if it was air ambulance that picked him up, would that not go to John Radcliff? Instead of Stoke?
it depends on the wind direction as to weather u hear it or not and as for welwyn u should show abit of respect to the forces weather i am part of the sas or not i fight for peoples freedom comments like urs are in bad taste . i hope the caretaker gets well soon
[quote][p][bold]nat27[/bold] wrote: I work in Wycombe hospital. I didn't feel a thing. Strange. And if it was air ambulance that picked him up, would that not go to John Radcliff? Instead of Stoke?[/p][/quote]it depends on the wind direction as to weather u hear it or not and as for welwyn u should show abit of respect to the forces weather i am part of the sas or not i fight for peoples freedom comments like urs are in bad taste . i hope the caretaker gets well soon dr death
  • Score: 0

4:34pm Fri 5 Nov 10

caretakers sister says...

im the caretakers sister and 2bh i think that u arguing about this is so disrespectful.... ive jus left my brother lyin in stoke mandeville where hes likely 2 b for months and thats the best outcome for him
im the caretakers sister and 2bh i think that u arguing about this is so disrespectful.... ive jus left my brother lyin in stoke mandeville where hes likely 2 b for months and thats the best outcome for him caretakers sister
  • Score: 0

10:44pm Fri 5 Nov 10

spyddar says...

hi, i'am one of the caretakers many cousins, and i am appauld that some of you are using this to argue about who heard what and where he has gone and who was or is in whatever forces, as his sister said he will be in hospital for a long time, we are all worried about him and want him get well soon, so please show some respect to a very good man and think about his worried family........
hi, i'am one of the caretakers many cousins, and i am appauld that some of you are using this to argue about who heard what and where he has gone and who was or is in whatever forces, as his sister said he will be in hospital for a long time, we are all worried about him and want him get well soon, so please show some respect to a very good man and think about his worried family........ spyddar
  • Score: 0

7:56pm Sat 6 Nov 10

mo-at-hw says...

I really hope Mr Fountain gets better soon. Such a nice guy, who is always willing to go out of his way to help anybody no matter what.
I really hope Mr Fountain gets better soon. Such a nice guy, who is always willing to go out of his way to help anybody no matter what. mo-at-hw
  • Score: 0

9:51pm Sat 6 Nov 10

demoness says...

caretakers sister wrote:
im the caretakers sister and 2bh i think that u arguing about this is so disrespectful.... ive jus left my brother lyin in stoke mandeville where hes likely 2 b for months and thats the best outcome for him
I really hope he gets well soon and is not in too much pain.
[quote][p][bold]caretakers sister[/bold] wrote: im the caretakers sister and 2bh i think that u arguing about this is so disrespectful.... ive jus left my brother lyin in stoke mandeville where hes likely 2 b for months and thats the best outcome for him[/p][/quote]I really hope he gets well soon and is not in too much pain. demoness
  • Score: 0

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