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Large fire in Sevenoaks High Street

By Mary Graham

A high street was cordoned off for around eight hours after a fire took hold in a three-storey house prompting a huge emergency response overnight.

Emergency crews scrambled to Sevenoaks to tackle the blaze which was so severe it had spread to the roof and had claimed the first floor which led to fears the building could collapse.

Before teams could go inside, a specialist council surveyor had to assess the structure.

The emergency response in Sevenoaks. Picture courtesy of Penny Penfold @Pen Folo (4049344)
The emergency response in Sevenoaks. Picture courtesy of Penny Penfold @Pen Folo (4049344)

The fire started just after midnight and teams worked to contain it and stop it spreading anywhere else. A height vehicle was used as a water tower to attack the flames in the roof from above and ladders were used to reach gaps in the roof and walls.

Everyone was safely out and no-one was injured but the British Red Cross support unit was stationed to offer support to the home owners as significant damage has been caused to their house.

Matt Deadman, Kent Fire and Rescue Service's group manager, said: "This was a particularly severe fire and firefighters worked extremely hard in notably challenging conditions to knock back the fire and limit its spread inside the wall cavities of the building. We liaised closely with the owners of the property, keeping them well informed at each stage of the fire-fighting operations, and worked with them to safely salvage and protect personal property where possible."

The emergency was scaled back at about 6am, from eight fire engines to six, and again at 9am, with two engines remaining at the property damping down and extinguishing remaining hotspots.

The High Street was reopened just before 8.30am.

The incident is not currently being treated as suspicious. A full investigation will take place at a later stage to determine the cause of the blaze.

In the middle of the response Kent Police arrested a man on suspicion of drink-driving. A tweet from the road policing team said the driver walked up to officers who were stationed nearby.

On Sunday afternoon the fire service announced it was launching a drone over the site to help with investigative work.

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