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Victims of fire in St Mary's Island flats helped as thousands raised by community on GoFundMe page

Victims of a devastating fire left homeless after a blaze engulfed a block of flats have had thousands of pounds raised to support them.

Several residents lost their homes and possessions during the incident in St Mary's Island, near Chatham last Thursday afternoon.

Fire crews at the scene of the flats blaze in St Mary's Island
Fire crews at the scene of the flats blaze in St Mary's Island

A fundraising page has collected more than £4,000 worth of donations to help people hit hardest by the disaster which saw the building almost completely destroyed by the inferno .

It is understood some 12 flats in the block on The Causeway have been condemned as they are not safe enough to live in after the fire.

The buildings have been secured and scaffolding erected to protect it from further damage.

The online appeal on GoFundMe, set up by Emma Davis and Lianne Bealey, is aiming to raise £5,000 and will be distributed equally among each affected household.

The fundraising campaign is working with the local branch of the Red Cross, St Mary's Island Residents Association and Medway Council to help replace essential items lost in the fire.

Nearby residents look on as emergency crews deal with the blaze in St Mary's Island
Nearby residents look on as emergency crews deal with the blaze in St Mary's Island

Emma said: "The age ranges of the residents affected varies from young to old, but all of whom are equally affected by this awful incident.

"Should a household not wish to receive the donation then their share will be ‘put back in the pot’ and redistributed to those who do.

"This is a fundraiser to offer some financial help for the residents during this really difficult time.

"Please give what you can, even if it is a small amount, every little will help."

A host of emergency teams responded to the fire which broke out at about 1.30pm on Thursday, September 10.

At least 10 fire engines and a height vehicle were sent to the blaze as about 20 neighbours evacuated from the area watched on as smoke billowed and flames enveloped the five-storey building.

The burnt out roof space on the St Mary's Island property(42202481)
The burnt out roof space on the St Mary's Island property(42202481)

A gaping hole in the roof was visible after the fire was eventually brought under control about three hours later.

The flames could be seen erupting from the windows of the upper floors as the fire reached the roof space.

The fire service has not yet confirmed the cause of the fire.

To donate to the fundraising page click here or visit uk.gofundme.com/f/smi-community-fire-disaster-fundraiser.

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