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Home   Canterbury   News   Article

Crews battle blaze at University of Kent's Canterbury campus

28 January 2014
by Gazette reporter

Students and university staff have been praised after 10 rooms at student digs were evacuated as a blaze threatened to spread at a campus.

Four fire engines were called to Park Wood Road in Canterbury shortly before 4am today, after an extractor fan caught alight in a first floor bathroom.

A quick-thinking student raised the alarm and notified security staff.

Fire engulfs a section of a campus building. Picture @Kent_999s

Fire engulfs a section of a campus building. Picture: @Kent_999s

 

The Purchese Court area was immediately evacuated and a roll call was taken to ensure all students had got out of their properties safely.

Crews wearing breathing apparatus used hose reel jets to tackle the blaze, which had spread into the roof.

They then stayed behind to help students rescue laptops, phones, and other items.

Just two properties were damaged, but 10 evacuated.

There were no reports of injuries, and the University of Kent is helping affected students find alternative accommodation.

Flames can be seen coming through a roof at student accommodation. Picture @Kent_999s

Flames can be seen coming through a roof at student accommodation. Picture: @Kent_999s

Firefighters tackle the blaze at student accommodation. Picture @Kent_999s

Firefighters tackle the blaze at student accommodation. Picture: @Kent_999s

Canterbury Watch Manager Mark Jones, who attended the incident, said: “I would like to highlight the planning shown by the university as all the students and staff knew exactly what to do once the fire was detected.

"We were able to concentrate our efforts on fighting the fire straight away knowing that all of the occupants had been safely evacuated and were out of harm's way. 

The aftermath of the fire in Park Wood Road

The aftermath of the fire in Park Wood Road

“I would also like to praise the work done by crews who worked tirelessly to keep damage to a minimum and then helped the students retrieve their possessions.”

The University will now wait for the official report from Kent Fire and Rescue Services and review to see if further precautionary measures are required.

 The students were moved to a rest centre and the fire crews left at around 7am.


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