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Video and Audio: Homes evacuated in fire in Tovil

Families evacuated from their homes in Maidstone on Tuesday night following a fire in a garage which contained gas cylinders have been allowed home.

Around 88 houses surrounding the garage in Beaconsfield Road in Tovil were affected.

Those who didn't take shelter with friends or family were able to stay at Mote Park Leisure Centre.

Among them were children and one heavily pregnant woman.

Video: Residents forced to leave their homes

John Littlemore, Maidstone council’s chief housing officer, said most of the families taken to the rest centre were quickly moved on to a Premier Inn, which is prepared to deal with emergencies.

He said: “Given the time of morning, people were still trying to wake up so the reality didn’t sink in.

“What was nice was that people knew each other as neighbours so they were able to support each other.

“Some family members with younger children did grab some sleep.”

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