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Two fires within 10 hours of each other in Sheerness

The site of the first fire in Alma Road

Fire crews battled two blazes which broke out half a mile from each other in the space of 10 hours.

The second fire at the former Victoriana Hotel, Alma Road, Sheerness, was started deliberately.

Two engines from nearby Sheppey station were called at 9.25pm yesterday.
Crews found a utility room in an extension at the back of the property alight.

They used a hose reel to put out the fire and a industrial fan to remove smoke from the building.

Firefighters also searched the premises but there was nobody in there.

The affected areas were boarded up and the landlord was made aware.
They left the scene at 9.55pm.

A Kent Fire & Rescue Service spokesman said the blaze had been reported to police.

Planning application to convert the empty building into five flats was submitted in October.

At 11.13am, crews were called to Unity Street where a woman and her children had fled their home.

The mother had noticed smoke billowing down the stairs from the front bedroom.

A bed, bedside cabinets, carpet, television and clothing were destroyed.
There was also heavy smoke damage to the top floor.

Firefighters from Sheppey and Sittingbourne entered the house wearing breathing apparatus.

They quickly extinguished the blaze and cleared the property of smoke.
A working fire alarm was fitted before the crews left.

Watch manager Neil Ryder said: “There’s no doubt that having a working smoke alarm would have given a much earlier warning to the blaze.

“Had this fire started overnight when the family were asleep, we might not be looking at such a lucky escape.

“Everyone is at risk of fire but babies, children and older people are most at risk if fire breaks out in their home.

“It’s not the heat but the smoke which is most dangerous to them, as their bodies are less able to cope. Just three breaths can knock you unconscious.”

This blaze is not being treated as suspicious.

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