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Firework may have started flats blaze

The flats in Poynder Drive, Holborough.
The flats in Poynder Drive, Holborough.

A stray firework may have started a blaze at a block of flats.

Police say they are investigating the possibility that a firework is to blame for starting the fire but they have refused to speculate whether it was a deliberate arson attack.

A number of people had to be evacuated and given shelter as fire spread through the block in Poynder Road, Holborough, near Snodland, in the early hours.

Firefighters were called at 12.15am on Tuesday to the block of nine flats, which have wooden weatherboard cladding.

It is thought the blaze started in nearby rubbish bins.

~Listen: Resident Andy Bishop tells of his shock as the fire took hold>>>

Residents have described how they watched their homes burn.

They said the flames quickly spread to the upper floors and through the roof.

One side of the block is completely blackened.

Poynder Road is part of a new estate in Holborough. Poynder Road was part of phase one. Developers Berkeley Homes are now building phase two.

In a statement, the company said one apartment was damaged by fire, the apartment below sustained smoke and water damage, and a ground floor apartment received water damage only. No other buildings or properties have been affected.

A spokesman said: "We are currently awaiting a full report from the emergency services before making any further comment on the situation, as we take our residents’ safety and security very seriously."

While residents own the individual flats, the building is owned by Southern Housing Group.

A spokesman said: "Fortunately there were no casualties and we are doing all we can to support the 15 or so residents who were affected by the fire, including working with Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council to secure temporary accommodation for them."

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