by Hayley Robinson
A couple had to be rescued from the roof of a block of flats after a fire broke out this morning (Saturday).
Firefighters were called to the four-storey building in Harbour Street, Ramsgate, just before 7am.
The alarm was initially raised by a man living on the second floor after he was woken by the smoke alarm sounding in the communal staircase. When he went to investigate he found the first floor heavily smoke logged and was forced back by the smoke and heat coming from the unoccupied flat.
He escaped through the front door before dialling 999.
A man and a woman, believed to be in their late 30s or early 40s, who live on the top floor, were also woken by the alarm. They were forced to make their way up to the roof as the stairs were filled with thick smoke.
Two appliances and an aerial appliance from Ramsgate plus another fire engine from Margate were called to the scene.
Crews wearing breathing apparatus searched the property while teams on the ground used two hose reels and a covering jet to extinguish the blaze.
Tim Oliver, crew manager at Ramsgate fire station, said the aerial appliance was used to bring the pair down from the roof safely. They were both unhurt.
Russ Jordan, Kent Fire and Rescue Service’s group manager, added: “When firefighters arrived it was a well developed fire and crews did an excellent job of stopping the fire spreading and limiting the damage to the unoccupied flat.”
The room where the fire broke out was destroyed by fire. The rest of the flat suffered smoke damage.
The cause is currently unknown but it is not being treated as suspicious.
Crews remained at the scene damping down until around noon.
Police were asked to attend to secure the building.