A Trowbridge schoolboy was arrested on suspicion of arson after a fire destroyed a toilet block at Clarendon Academy yesterday.

Wiltshire Police is currently investigating the incident which happened at noon in the science department’s boys’ toilets and resulted in the 12-year-old pupil being arrested.

The fire service is looking into the cause but it is believed that the blaze was intentionally started in a cubicle.

Headteacher Mark Stenton said: “The matter is currently being dealt with by the police and it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to comment on it.

"The lad is someone that needs a lot of support and we’ll make sure he gets it. I’m aware of how the fire started but I don’t want to speak about it while the incident is being investigated.

“The main thing is all of our children were safe, the incident was dealt with quickly and everyone was back in lessons after 20 minutes.

"I’m pleased with how our site management handled the situation and I’m thankful to the fire service for their quick response.”

When the two fire crews from Trowbridge Fire Station arrived, at the Frome Road school, all children and staff had been evacuated to a field at the rear of the grounds.

Acting watch manager Matthew Skyme, who attended the fire, said: “Due to all the plastic and the manmade materials in there we encountered a lot of thick black smoke which hindered us a bit as we couldn’t see too much.

“The fire was contained to the boys’ toilets. The smoke was jet black and it has destroyed the area and some of the smoke also spread into the corridor. The fire investigation officer called the police as the cause looked fairly suspect.

“Thankfully, the school’s evacuation procedure was followed and nobody was hurt.”

The boy was held in custody at Melksham Police Station on Wednesday.