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New images reveal devastation following fire in Wear Bay Crescent, Folkestone

New photos reveal the utter devastation caused after a huge fire tore through three homes in Folkestone.

The blaze, which happened in Wear Bay Crescent, was eventually extinguished yesterday afternoon - more than 48 hours after it first started.

The middle home has been demolished. Picture by Steve Salter
The middle home has been demolished. Picture by Steve Salter

One of the affected buildings - the one in which the fire broke out in - has now been completely demolished, with the two either side of it also being destroyed by the flames.

Images of one of the homes - believed to be former Bird Cage Italian Restaurant - shows a huge hole in the roof and blackened windows.

The third has a gutted roof.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service say the investigation to identify the cause is still ongoing, adding they might never know what started the blaze.

A spokesman said: "Firefighting operations finished at 3.29pm on Wednesday, January 1.

Work to tackle the fire spanned three days. Picture by Steve Salter
Work to tackle the fire spanned three days. Picture by Steve Salter

"There's a possibility that crews may still be at the scene for a short time recovering equipment and liaising with other agencies, but the duty of care has now been passed to the local authority.

"With an incident this complex and prolonged, it may take some time to get information about the cause, if we are able to at all, given the building where the fire started is no longer standing."

The fire broke out at 1.30pm on Monday, with eight fire engines being sent to the road, plus a height vehicle and bulk water carrier.

At the time, members of the public were advised to avoid the area, and two people were taken to the William Harvey Hospital.

Smoke could be seen as far as the M20.

The roof this property has been destroyed. Picture by Steve Salter
The roof this property has been destroyed. Picture by Steve Salter

And efforts to tackle the fire continued into the next day, although the number of teams at the scene was reduced to four.

On Tuesday, fire crews also confirmed the homes had partially collapsed under the strain of the fire.

The blaze was completely out by 3.30pm yesterday, although some firefighters will remain at the scene.

There has been an outpouring of support for those affected by the blaze, with people from all over Folkestone offering aid and wellwishes.

People have offered to donate clothes, furniture and money for the victims, with an online fundraiser having raised £1,936 so far.

It took crews more than 48 hours to put the fire out. Picture by Steve Salter
It took crews more than 48 hours to put the fire out. Picture by Steve Salter

Roofing firm R Button Roofing also promised to re-roof the houses with labour free of charge.

And The Grand, along The Leas, also offered free board for anyone made homeless by the incident.

Support also came from the Salvation Army.

A spokesman for the charity said: "It has been our privilege to support the fire brigade.

A digger at the scene as one of the homes is demolished. Pictures by Steve Salter
A digger at the scene as one of the homes is demolished. Pictures by Steve Salter
The blaze started on Monday afternoon. Picture: Andrew Dawton
The blaze started on Monday afternoon. Picture: Andrew Dawton

"It is also my privilege to live in a town with such incredible care, concern and offers of help.

"I can now inform you that all people and animals are safe and are being looked after well by neighbours, family, friends, the fire service and associated agencies.

"They may require assistance some time in the future, but for now they just need to come to terms with the devastation of their homes.

Smoke could be seen billowing across the road and into the sky
Smoke could be seen billowing across the road and into the sky

"Thank you Folkestone, you are amazing."

A Folkestone and Hythe District Council spokesman said: “This was a traumatic experience for those involved and our thoughts are with those affected by the fire.

"Members of our building control team have been advising on the structure of the fire-damaged properties and working with the Kent Fire and Rescue Service."

If you would like to donate to the fundraiser, please click here

For more news on fires in the county, click here

Read more: All the latest news from Folkestone


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