FIVE pupils have been arrested on suspicion of arson over a fire that destroyed their school gym.
And it appears the arrests came after close liaison between the school and police probing the inferno.
The boys, all in year 11 at Salendine Nook High School, have been questioned by police about the incident on the night of Friday, November 6.
They have also been suspended from school for eight days.
Acting headteacher Andrew Foster said the pupils, all aged 15 and 16, were arrested following information passed to the police by the school.
But he said the cause of the blaze was being treated as careless, not malicious.
“It was reckless rather than a deliberate act,” he said.
About £30,000-worth of damage was caused when the blaze ripped through the building, an old cricket pavilion, the night after Bonfire Night.
It destroyed a number of pieces of exercise equipment, including treadmills and rowing machines.
An empty petrol can was found in the school grounds, which was initially thought to have been connected to the fire.
But Mr Foster said that was now thought to be a ‘red herring.’
A theory that it was part of a ‘postcode gang’ dispute has also been ruled out.
It is thought a small fire was started behind the pavilion then spread to the building itself.
The boys are now all on bail pending further inquiries.
The building that was destroyed used to be a pavilion belonging to Salendine Nook Old Boys’ Cricket Club.
The school took it over about three years ago after the club folded.
Since then the school’s head of PE, Rob Morris, has led efforts to turn it into a gym containing treadmills, rowing machines, cross training machines and weights stations.
Firefighters from Huddersfield and Dewsbury battled all night putting out the blaze.
Extra damage was caused by an explosion from beer kegs and gas cylinders left there by the cricket club.
None of the equipment escaped the blaze.