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Romantic gesture ruined after tealight fire

A tealight fire ruined a romantic night in for one couple in Kent Credit: MARTIN RUETSCHI/Keystone Switzerland/Press Association Images

A romantic gesture sparked a fire at a home in Kent. A man lit approximately 40 tea lights on the carpet in the bedroom, spelling out his partner's name and creating the shape of a love heart. But after setting them alight and closing the door the heat of the tea lights set the carpet on fire.

Crews used a hose reel jet at Chatham Hill in Chatam at 2:15am today after the fire rapidly spread through the bedroom. Approximately 70 per cent of the bedroom was destroyed by fire, with the remainder of the upstairs being damaged by smoke.

Medway Watch Manager Paul Nash, who attended the incident, said: 'We realise that tea lights have become increasingly popular in recent years to create a relaxing or romantic atmosphere in the home. However, many people are still unaware of the dangers that candles and tea lights can present.

'Because tea lights come with a flat metal base many people think it is safe to place them directly onto any surface without a candleholder or a heat resistant saucer. However, they reach extremely high temperatures. If they’re placed directly on a plastic or combustible surface they quickly melt into the material and can cause a potentially fatal fire.'

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Appeal for information after daggers stolen

An investigations been launched in Chatham following the theft of three daggers.

Police say these daggers are unique and are appealing for witnesses Credit: Kent Police

Police received a report that the weapons were taken from Fort Amherst and Lines Trust on Dock Road on the morning of 30th March.

Police say these daggers are unique and are appealing for witnesses Credit: Kent Police

PC James Dolby, investigating officer, said: 'The three daggers are unique and I would urge anyone who finds them to hand them in to police.'

Police say these daggers are unique and are appealing for witnesses Credit: Kent Police

"A bolt from the blue": Chatham remembers the day the dockyard closed 30 years ago

It came as a bolt from the blue. The devastating news that Chatham Dockyard was to close after 400 years in operation. The Navy was pulling out and thousands of workers would lose their jobs.

It was a dark day for the people of Medway, but slowly, bit by bit, the town and the dockyard fought back, turning the site into a vibrant business community and visitor attraction. Now, 30 years on, the future is still bright.

Andrea Thomas has been speaking to Philip Lewing, a former engineer at the dockyard, Brian Jenkins, president of the Chatham Dockyard Historical Society and Bill Ferris, Chief Executive of the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust.

Missing toddler found amid concerns for father

Mark Dallas Credit: Kent Police

Officers are growing increasingly concerned for the welfare of Mark Henry Dallas from Chatham, who was last seen in the Wayfield Road area of the town just after midday on Friday.

It is believed the 19 year old was in possession of his 14-month-old son but the boy has since been found safe and well.

Mr Dallas is described as white, 5ft 11ins tall, of slim build, brown eyes and dark brown hair. He was last seen wearing a light grey tracksuit with a hood.

Kent Police is searching for Mr Dallas and officers are urging him to get in contact. Anyone who knows his whereabouts is urged to call 101.

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Appeal for missing father

Mark Henry Dallas Credit: Kent Police

Kent Police is appealing for help in locating a Chatham man who has disappeared whilst in possession of his 14-month-old son. Mark Henry Dallas, 19, from Chatham, was last seen in the Wayfield Road area of the town just after midday on Friday, 7 March.

It is believed Mr Dallas may be in possession of his 14-month-old son who was last seen wearing dark tracksuit bottoms, a top with a teddy on the front and a coat. Mr Dallas is 5ft 11ins tall, of slim build, brown eyes and dark brown hair. He was last seen wearing a light grey tracksuit with a hood.

Kent Police is actively looking for Mr Dallas and officers are urging him to get in contact as soon as possible. Anyone who knows of Mr Dallas’ whereabouts is urged to call 101.

Kart race tribute to young racing driver

Ryan Lawford Credit: Lawford family

Rallycross drivers have been joining staff from Canterbury Cathedral today to pay tribute to the late racing driver Ryan Lawford. The drivers gathered at Buckmore Park in Chatham to compete in teams of three in a 90-minute endurance kart race to raise funds for the Demelza Hospice Care.

Ryan, who was a successful rallycross driver for many years, was a popular figure in both the motorsport and the local community. An inquest last year heard the 26-year-old was found dead in his garden shed.

Knifepoint robbery in Chatham

Detectives investigating a knifepoint robbery at a shop in Chatham have released CCTV images of a man they would like to speak to.

It was reported that on February 22, at around 9pm, the suspect entered the Co-op supermarket in Kestrel Road and purchased a lottery scratch card.

CCTV images released in connection with knifepoint robbery Credit: Kent Police

As a member of staff closed the till the suspect produced a large knife, described as a meat cleaver, from his trousers.

Demanding money, the suspect leant over the counter and brandished the weapon at the member of staff. He passed him a bag and ordered him to fill it with cash, before fleeing.

CCTV images released in connection with knifepoint robbery Credit: Kent Police

The suspect is described as a white male, who was unshaven and scruffy with black or brown short hair. He was wearing a black jumper and cream or white trainers.

Kent Police has now released CCTV images of a man they believe could help with their enquiries.

Could East Kent become the next 'silicon city'?

East Kent may have been taking a battering from the weather, but it could have a bright future in the high-tech industry. Business leaders have been meeting in London to discuss the potential.

They say the area has a skilled workforce, low start-up costs and good transport links - so could it become the next "silicon city"? Andy Dickenson reports.

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