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Faversham: Police close investigation into suspicious fire


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Police have closed their investigation into how a massive fire in Faversham town centre started.

More than a month after the blaze in Preston Street shops are yet to reopen and mystery remains as to how the fire was sparked.

A day after the fire caused serious damage to three buildings on the evening of April 22, police said they were treating it as suspicious as residents and business owners dealt with the aftermath – but their investigations have proved fruitless.

Empire menswear was badly damaged in the blaze.
Empire menswear was badly damaged in the blaze.

A police spokesman said: “The investigation has concluded and the victims have been updated that the case will be filed pending further information received from the public.”

Chris Staff, who owns Empire Menswear, said they are yet to open again but the roof was completely removed on Monday to make way for repairs.

He said: “Hopefully I will get a provisional date at the end of next week about when the work will start and we can reopen.”

Faversham Furnishing remains closed and some residents living in the surrounding buildings are still unable to go home.

The damage inside. Picture: Richard Murr
The damage inside. Picture: Richard Murr

Newly published photographs show the roof above the former Mackay & Co solicitors, which was the worst hit building.

Six fire engines, police and paramedics arrived at around 9pm as flames lit up the night sky, watched by a large number of shocked bystanders who had congregated.

The Faversham News front page at the time of the blaze.
The Faversham News front page at the time of the blaze.

People living nearby were forced to evacuate as thick black smoke filled the air. Fire crews remained there until the morning.

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