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Staplehurst: Residents praised by fire service after blaze in Butchers Close

By Natalie Tipping

Villagers have been praised by the fire service as they pulled together to make sure residents left their houses as a blaze took hold.

Emergency crews were alerted to the flames at a home in Butchers Close, Staplehurst, shortly after 5am. 

The couple who lived in the house had managed to get out and neighbours alerted the rest of the street, evacuating all nearby homes.

Stock picture.

Stock picture.

When crews arrived, the fire had taken hold of the bedroom and roof void. 

Four engines were sent, and around 17 firefighters tackled the blaze from the outside, wearing breathing apparatus. 

Maidstone watch manager Dominic Moore said: "We created a fire break using a fog spike to punch holes in the structure of the property. This allowed us to get water into the void creating a super-fine misting effect, which dramatically reduced the temperature.

"A hose reel and hydrant were also used, and we were successfully able to prevent the fire spreading to neighbouring properties."

The fire is believed to have been started accidentally, due to a suspected fault with the timing switch in an airing cupboard. 

It caused severe damage to the top floor of the house.

Crews helped the couple to salvage belongings and will be revisiting the area with fire safety advice in the coming days.

Mr Moore added: "The couple did exactly the right thing in getting out of their home to safety, and neighbours were also a huge help in evacuating other properties.

"If you are unfortunate enough to have a fire in your home, please get out as quickly and safely as possible, closing the door on the fire as you leave. 

"This will limit the damage and spread of the fire. My other advice would be to make sure you have working smoke alarms on every floor of your home and test them on a regular basis."

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