ARSONISTS who tried to set light to a village primary school were foiled by fire safety precautions.
Firebugs set the kitchen of Shelley First School on fire on Monday evening.
The blaze, which destroyed the catering area, would have spread and ravaged the whole school had a fire door been left open.
But thankfully the door was closed and firefighters managed to save the school, which was closed for the half-term holiday.
One of the first to arrive was Skelmanthorpe fireman Richard Meakin.
Mr Meakin, a watch manager, said by the time they arrived shortly after 5.45pm smoke and flames could be seen billowing from the building.
He added: "We sent in two firefighters to tackle the blaze.
"It was a severe fire in the kitchen - it has been all but wiped out.
"The flames would have spread if a fire door had been left open.
"Luckily it wasn't. If it had been this would have been a disaster for the school which could have been lost."
Sian Allen, acting chairman of governors at the school, said she just felt sick.
She added: "I have been up to the school and there is extensive smoke damage in the catering area.
"It just felt awful to be there with this having happened.
"The school is at the centre of a small community and is important.
"It had an excellent Ofsted report in September.
"We have had vandalism before and it seems to be getting worse."
The school is expected to reopen as planned next week.