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Arson attack leaves dozens of home without phone lines

Arson attack
Arson attack

Dozens of homes in Whitstable have been left without phone lines after four sheds and a telegraph pole were targeted by arsonists.

Families in Acton Road and Warwick Road face weeks without a connection following the attack on Tuesday.

Fire crews raced to the scene at 6pm after the blaze erupted in an alleyway separating the roads.

One shed was completely destroyed, three were damaged and a telegraph pole was condemned after it was hit by the flames.

Arson attack
Arson attack

Joyce Gambrill, of Acton Road, was doing the washing up when the fire started.

She said: “I could smell chemicals and saw the smoke through my back window, but just thought someone was having a bonfire.

“Then the smoke started swirling and there were flames. All of the neighbours ran out the front of their houses and the fire brigade arrived soon after.

“My side fence and back fence have been damaged and my greenhouse has had it.”

BT engineers arrived on the scene at 9.45pm and told neighbours it could be more than two weeks before the lines are restored.

Mrs Gambrill said: “They said they’d have to dig the phone lines out manually and we’re looking at a fortnight, maybe more, before they're working again. It’s definitely a nuisance.”

Police believe the fire was started deliberately and ask anyone with information to call 01622 690609, quoting reference number 6193.

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