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Nine escape as blaze rips through flat

Firefighters work at the scene of the blaze on Saturday. Picture: Chris Davey
Firefighters work at the scene of the blaze on Saturday. Picture: Chris Davey

Two people were taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation and minor burns after fire engulfed a flat above a Chinese restaurant in Herne Bay.

The victims were among nine occupants, including two children, who escaped the blaze above Jade Garden in William Street.

The fire started shortly after 7.15am Saturday and the occupants used their own ladder to climb out of a first floor window to safety.

Up 30 firefighters, including a turntable ladder crew, fought the flames and brought the blaze under control. But the upper floors of the building have been severely damaged.

Incident commander Mick Smith said: "We believe it started in a bedroom when an oil filled radiator caught bedding alight.

"There certainly do not appear to be any suspicious circumstances."

He added: "It is perhaps fortunate the fire did not start early when the occupants were all asleep and would not have reacted so quickly."

Part of William Street was sealed off on Saturday morning while engineers assessed the structural safety of the building.

A Red Cross emergency response team were also helping the occupants find temporary accommodation and provide them with essential provisions.

East Kent team leader Kevin Money said: "They have lost everything and only have clothes they escaped in.

"A local shopkeeper has kindly offered them temporary accommodation and we are providing them with clothing, bedding and other essential provisions because they have no personal possessions."

Did you capture the fire on camera? Email your pictures to hernebaygazette@thekmgroup.co.uk >>>

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