Approximately 40 children and 10 staff have been evacuated from Bobbles Day Nursery on Elsing Street in Fenton this afternoon, following a fire in the roof.
"I would like to praise the nursery staff for their quick thinking and actions which has resulted in the safe evacuation of a large group of youngsters, including babies."
Station Manager, Mick Daniels
Staff smelled smoke just before smoke alarms activated at approximately 12.55pm this lunchtime and quickly put into action their emergency evacuation procedure in order to get the children to safety.
The children, aged from six months to four years old, are now safe and well in the nearby Sure Start family centre in Fenton and firefighters are helping to tidy up internally at the nursery.
Station Manager, Mick Daniels said: "Some of the copper roofing had been removed over the weekend so workmen had been called out this morning to repair the damage.
"It appears a blow torch was used to fix temporary felt to the roof and the heat from the equipment ignited roof insulation which began to smoulder. Approximately an hour after the workmen left the site, smoke began to drift down into the nursery which was when staff were alerted to the incident.
"I would like to praise the nursery staff for their quick thinking and actions which has resulted in the safe evacuation of a large group of youngsters, including babies. The strong winds today haven’t helped the situation however crews from Longton and Hanley, including the aerial ladder platform managed to bring the fire under control quickly and damage has mainly been confined to one area of the roof.
"We would urge builders to be very careful when using heating materials on a roof and to ensure they know where combustible materials within the roof are to help prevent incidents like this from occurring."