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Mattress ignites 80ft fir tree

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A dumped mattress left in a Gillingham alleyway has damaged residents' gardens after setting fire to an 80ft tree.

Fire crews were called to the rear of Windsor Road at 2.40pm on Tuesday after a resident noticed the mattress alight.

Residents tried to extinguish the flames themselves but were unable to stop it from spreading.

By the time firefighters had arrived it had spread rapidly to garden fencing, a pine tree and a shed in several gardens.

It took crews less than an hour to fully extinguish the flames.

A spokesman for Kent Fire and Rescue said: "The damage was quite severe with 20ft of fencing being damaged along with the shed and tree."

Writing on Facebook Michelle Clarkson said: "I live two doors away, we called the fire brigade. It started with a mattress but then caught light to an 80ft fur tree and other gardens. We tried to put it out before the fire brigade got there but it took hold too soon."

The fire is being treated as suspicious.

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