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Home   Sheerness   News   Article

Kent Police arson probe shelved after huge blaze tears through flats in Glass House building in Sheerness

07 January 2014
by Emma Grove

A fireball erupts from the building at the height of the blaze

A fireball erupts from the building at the height of the blaze

Police probing an arson attack on a block of flats in Sheerness have shelved their investigation after "exhausting all lines of inquiry".

Several people were injured when flames tore through the Glass House building, a former pub, after it was set alight in June last year.

Although five people were arrested over the huge blaze, they were all released without charge - and police have now revealed they have ended the investigation.

Despite still suffering consequences from the fire, 19-year-old Kirsty Sawyer said she is determined not to let it affect her life.

She and friend Craig Monahan were visiting their pal Paul Miles, who lived in the top floor flat of the building when it was targeted by arsonists.

She and Paul both fell as they were trying to escape the property, at the Marine Parade and Richmond Street junction, and Craig was rescued by firefighters.

Kirsty, who has returned to work at Morrisons in Sittingbourne, is still struggling with her breathing and voice as her throat was so badly burnt.

Kirsty Sawyer, Paul Miles and Craig Monahan are reunited after being injured in the arson attack

Kirsty Sawyer, Paul Miles and Craig Monahan are reunited after being injured in the arson attack

She is having voice therapy and will be seeing respiratory specialists later this month.

"There's only so much the police can do and I appreciate all their efforts," she said. "They've done everything they can.

"I hope the arsonists have learnt not to do it again. We're all OK now. Paul's doing fantastic and doesn't need crutches anymore.

"Work is difficult, but I refuse to let this affect my life any more than it has – I like the normality of work."

Flames visible from a large house fire in Sheerness

Flames visible from a large house fire in Sheerness

Kirsty has also been taken on as a volunteer by Kent Fire and Rescue Service for its educational department and had her first training session earlier this month.

Her remit will include helping the team with presentations about safety and how starting fires and making hoax calls puts people's lives at risk.

Senior investigating officer DCI Lee Whitehead, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: "After exhausting all lines of inquiry and having spoken to the victims involved, we have decided to file this investigation for the time being.

"We carried out a full investigation and reviewed it with the serious case review team to make sure we had explored every possible line of inquiry."

Firefighters scale the building on fire in Sheerness

Firefighters scale the building on fire in Sheerness

A man is rescued from the blazing flats in Sheerness

A man is rescued from the blazing flats in Sheerness

A man is brought down by ladder from the top floor of the blazing building

A man is brought down by ladder from the top floor of the blazing building

He added: "A second, unrelated fire, which took place in the area a few days later, has resulted in a man being charged and we are awaiting the outcome of pre-trial reports.

"We would like to thank everyone who has helped and supported our investigations and anyone who may have fresh information about the fire should come forward."

Scaffolding around the Glass House in Sheerness this week

Scaffolding around the Glass House in Sheerness this week

Richmond Street, which had been closed since the fire, reopened on Monday.


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Click here for more news from Sheerness.

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