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Two boys, aged eight and 15, escape fire in three bedroom home in Bathurst Close, Staplehurst

Two boys were home alone when a huge blaze engulfed their Staplehurst house.

A garage in Bathurst Close caught fire on Wednesday evening with flames quickly spreading to the three bedroom semi-detached and reaching as high as the roof.

Immediate neighbour David Smith ran into his garden when he realised what was happening around 6.45pm and spotted a gas canister and barbecue just behind the inferno. He quickly grabbed his garden hose and watered the canister down.

Firefighters tackle the Staplehurst blaze. Picture: Anne Hollamby
Smoke is clearly seen at the fire scene. Picture: Anne Hollamby

The retired IT consultant said: “When something like that happens you don’t know what to do.

“I knew the hose couldn’t fight the fire but I didn’t want the canister going off. It would’ve caused a lot of damage.

“When the firefighters came the first thing one of them did was grab it and place it as far away as possible.”

“The lady who lives there is a tenant. She has two boys, aged 15 and nine I think, who were alone in the house but they got out unhurt.”

The fire brigade arrived around 6.50pm and quickly managed to control the fire, but the back of the house was completely gutted.

Video: Firefighters tackle the house blaze - courtesy, Anne Hollamby

It was a close call for the houses on either side too.

Once the firefighters arrived neighbours could only watch as the blaze crept towards their homes, but luckily neither suffered any damage.

Anne Hollamby was watching the Netherlands V Australia World Cup match when she smelt smoke.

She said: “I heard a crackling sound coming from opposite. When I went outside I couldn’t believe it.

“The fire took off so quickly and the fire brigade did a great job to put it out.

“I think one of the firefighters managed to save a chihuahua from the garden.

“I could see him running by the side of the house trying to get into the garden and there were tiles falling on him - but it didn’t stop him.”

The cause of the fire has not been confirmed but it is believed to have been caused by an electrical fault with a tumble dryer.

Three fire engines attended the scene and spent just over an hour and a half battling the flames and damping down the home.

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