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Tonbridge house fire which sparked an evacuation is suspected arson attack, say Kent Police

By KentOnline reporter

A house fire which sparked an evacuation of a road when a gas leak was discovered, is being treated as arson.

Kent Police issued a witness appeal for information today about the suspected arson attack, in East Street, Tonbridge.

A fire was started at the front of the house and it took hold in the ground floor kitchen, around 2am on Thursday.

Henry Clarke took this picture of SGN workers at the scene. Fire damage can be seen on the front of one of the homes.

Two women and two young children who were inside the mid-terraced house managed to escape and no one was injured.

A member of the public also helped with the rescue. Two cats were found inside the house and were also taken to safety.

Fire crews handed over duty to Southern Gas Networks around 5am, due to a subsequent report of a gas leak, resulting in a neighbouring property being evacuated as a precaution.

East Street was closed between Hadlow Road and Tonbridge High Street, while Southern Gas Networks (SGN) workers were at the scene.

An SGN spokesman said: "One of our gas service pipes had caught alight as a result of a fire.

"Our engineers made safe by turning off the gas supply off to the property and carried out safety checks."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Kent Police on 01622 604100 and leave a message quoting crime reference YY/24280/17.

Alternatively, if you have information and would prefer to remain anonymous please call Kent Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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