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Man arrested on suspicion of arson after spate of fires in Chatham

By Lynn Cox

A man has been arrested on suspicion of arson after several blazes in Chatham town centre this week.

The fires were set near buildings in the town on at least three occasions over several nights.

Fire crews were called to Queen Street in the early hours of Wednesday, where they found a skip full of building material alight.

The blaze in Chatham last night, picture @DawsonScott22

The blaze in Chatham last night, picture @DawsonScott22

The incident happened at about 2.30am. About half an hour later another crew were called to a fire which had been started in an industrial bin in Iceland car park in The Brook.

Then at about 9pm on Thursday, firefighters from Chatham fire station were called out to deal with a rubbish fire.

The blaze broke out at the back of a tyre shop in The Brook at the junction with Slicketts Hill.

The crew managed to stop the flames spreading into the building, but external fittings were damaged including a door and guttering.

Fire crews at the scene last night, pic @DawsonScott22

Fire crews at the scene last night, pic @DawsonScott22

The crew spent about 40 minutes at the scene and blaze was caught on camera by @DawsonScott22 who posted these pictures on Twitter.

A spokesman for police said initially officers were looking at the possibility that the fires may be linked and said they were set in various locations in the town centre between Saturday and yesterday. 

Later, the spokesman added: “Officers investigating a number of suspicious fires in Chatham have arrested a man on suspicion of arson.

“A 48-year-old man from Chatham was arrested at 10.42am."

The man has been bailed until Friday, May 19 pending further inquiries. 

Anyone with information can call police on 01634 792209 quoting XY/017467/17.

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