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Fire at historic windmill 'not suspicous'

POLICE have confirmed that a blaze which ripped through the 194-year-old windmill at Sheerness is not being treated as suspicious.

Initially, arsonists were suspected but forensic teams examined the scene on Friday and found no evidence to suggest foul play.

Over the past two years, the town's skyline had been transformed by Caleb Watson and his team who had restored the 194-year-old windmill at a cost of more than £50,000.

They had only put the white revolving cap on it just before Christmas. The outside of the windmill is still standing but is a blackened mess. The inside is wrecked.

Just after 11pm on Wednesday fire crews were called to the windmill off the high street and they managed to stop it burning to the ground.

~ See a reader's mobile phone video of the blaze >>>

Surveying the damage Mr Watson, 33, of the town's Railway Road, said: "The inside is a charred wreck but fortunately the steel skeleton was sprayed in fireproof paint so I am determined to rebuild as soon as I can."

The mill was actually demolished in 1924 and the brick base had remained derelict until Caleb and his father Bernie bought the Grade II listed structure back in 1989 and only now was the project coming to fruition. It had been planned to convert the three storeys into apartments.

Full story in next week’s Sheerness Times Guardian.

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