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Residents battled alongside fire crews to stop blaze in Chatham as drone footage captures gardens in flames


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Neighbours battled alongside firefighters to stop a blaze tearing through gardens.

As new drone footage reveals the extent of the fire which took hold just before 6pm yesterday, people living in Hartington Street, Chatham, have spoken of their fears as the blaze spread further.

Drone footage of the blaze in Hartington Street. Supplied by Ben Boardman
Drone footage of the blaze in Hartington Street. Supplied by Ben Boardman

Ebrahim Piperdy, 39, was among those who helped battle the fire, which he said took hold in at least three gardens after a large tree caught alight.

"I made sure I got my garden hose to stop the spread whilst minimising damage to my shed," said Ebrahim, who works as a housing manager. "I helped the fire crew take the hose through my house and ensured I assisted them where I could. I had a Covid mask over my mouth and took in fumes but I was determined to protect my neighbours and my property."

Residents have said it is thought the fire was started deliberately and Ebrahim said it was important to highlight the incident so that lessons could be learnt, and to underscore the importance of fire safety.

The charred remains of gardens after the fire. Image by Ebrahim Piperdy
The charred remains of gardens after the fire. Image by Ebrahim Piperdy

He also thanked neighbours who looked after his mother, adding: "Although my neighbours have not been as lucky as I have I will not hesitate to help them in getting what they have taken away from them restored and put back in a better position. I thank God I was given the bravery and courage to ensure and contribute for the fire to not spread any further as best as I could.

"I’d like to say a special thanks to the brave firefighters as they put their lives at risk for the safety of others and will help my neighbours ensure our gardens and property are restored better than before. We will not be deterred by any ASB."

Meanwhile drone footage shows the blaze raging within close proximity to a number of surrounding buildings, and flames leaping high into the air from a burning tree.

Footage by Ben Boardman shows the blaze spreading through gardens in Hartington Street.

Kent Fire and Rescue said two sheds, several fence panels, and conifer trees were damaged by the blaze.

Crews used a main jet and hose reel jet to put out the fire, and no one was injured.

Kent Police has been approached for further information.

The aftermath of the blaze. Footage by Ebrahim Piperdy

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