A FIRE was deliberately started at a Winchester secondary school.

A teacher is understood to have put out the flames from a fire ignited from paper and books in toilets yesterday afternoon at The Westgate School in Fulflood.

A fire service spokesman said today: "One Winchester fire engine was called at 3.08pm yesterday afternoon to a school on Cheriton Road after a small fire was reported in the toilets involving paper and books.

"The fire, which was started deliberately, was extinguished using fire extinguishers before HIWFRS arrived, with crews using ventilation fans to clear smoke.

"The incident was handed over to onsite staff who were advised by firefighters to speak with police. The stop message came in at 3.47pm."

The school has been asked to comment.

The Westgate is Hampshire's first all-through school which takes pupils from the age of four to 16 years.

A police spokeswoman said the fire was in a bin in the grounds. 

She said: "We were called at 3.53pm yesterday, 14 October, to reports of a fire at The Westgate School, Cheriton Road.

"A fire had been set in a bin within the school grounds." This has been clarified to have been in toilets.

"Officers are investigating. Anyone with information can call 101 with reference 44210413173."

More to follow.