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Suspicious blaze destroys former care home

FIREFIGHTERS worked through the night to tackle a blaze which gutted a former residential home for the elderly in Maidstone.

By the time the firefighters arrived at the scene early yestyerday the fire had already taken hold of Glenhurst, a former care home in Vinters Road which closed last September.

Crews wearing breathing apparatus entered the building but were forced to retreat after the blaze intensified.

It took firefighters two hours to bring the blaze under control. Three fire engines and a crane were brought in to tackle the fire and water from a main in nearby Sittingbourne Road used to help douse the flames.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is underway. Neighbours reported seeing people leave the building not long before the fire broke out.

Station Officer David Wales, from Kent Fire Brigade headquarters, said the fire started in a lounge at the back of the building but spread quickly through the rest of the house.

He added: "Because part of the building was boarded up, we had no knowledge of the state of the building or what was inside. That made the problem that much harder to deal with."

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