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Partygoers escape blaze

A PARTY in a squat in Canterbury almost ended in tragedy for 150 people when fire broke out. Flames began pouring from a derelict building opposite the old Barton Mill, off Sturry Road, causing partygoers to flee at 1.30am on Saturday.

Firemen arrived to see a DJ and other revellers wheeling speakers to safety. A quarter of the three-storey building was destroyed by fire and the rest was damaged by heat and smoke.

"No-one was hurt, but they were fortunate - it could have been a lot worse," said a Canterbury fire station official. "If a building is not cleared for that purpose they can become death traps.

"Lots of people have died in illegal parties around the world because if when people are drugged up or drunk they don't know how to get out. Fire can take hold before people even know about it."

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