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Arsonist jailed for three years

Credit: PA

A Folkestone man has been jailed for three years after pleading guilty to setting his own flat on fire.

Mark Elliott, 34, set alight to his bedroom curtains on the night of July 1 and the fire soon spread to the rest of his flat on Rendezvous Street.

Residents from neighbouring flats saw the smoke which continued to spread to the rest of the building and raised the alarm, pulling Elliott to safety.

Although most of the residents escaped the fire, firefighters had to rescue two people and some were treated for smoke inhalation.

Elliott admitted the charge of arson with intent to endanger life and was sentenced to three years in prison when he appeared at Canterbury Crown Court.

He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge.

Alan and his team tackle USA bush fire

Alan and his team have been called in to fight a bush fire Credit: Isle of Wight Council

An Isle of Wight firefighter, part of an exchange trip to Oregon in the USA to learn about tackling wildfire, now finds himself on the front line fighting a bush fire.

Alan Jones, based at Newport, is with four colleagues from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service on the trip, which has so far seen them train on the techniques used to tackle large-scale wildfires.

Having completed the training, Alan and his colleagues have been assigned to join 660 firefighters who are battling a massive blaze at Canyon Creek Over 73,000 acres have been burned and several properties destroyed.


Woman, 87, dies after being rescued from kitchen fire

Flowers have been placed outside the house

An 87-year old woman who was taken to hospital following a fire in Elham near Ashford has died.

Fire crews were called to a house in The Square on Monday night, where they were confronted by a kitchen fire.

The house has since been boarded up

She was taken to hospital by ambulance, suffering from smoke inhalation, but has since passed away.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service says the ground floor kitchen was completely destroyed, with the blaze burning through the ceiling to the floor above.

It says the entire house was extensively damaged by the fire, which started on the ground floor.

An investigation is underway.

Eastbourne Pier fire one year on

A year ago today, Eastbourne Pier was engulfed in flames. We still don't know why the fire happened - but ever since efforts to rebuild it have continued apace. Traders are relieved that they're back in business again, but is the long term future of the pier secure? Andrea Thomas has been speaking to trader James Gallagher, Tim Cobb from the Chamber of Commerce and Councillor David Tutt.

Family and pets have lucky escape from fire

Three young people and two family pets had a lucky escape from a house fire in East Preston yesterday after the alarm was raised by a working smoke detector.

Firefighters were called to the terraced house on Mill Pond Way, East Preston yesterday afternoon after an electrical fire was sparked by a dishwasher.

Smoke from the dishwasher quickly spread through the kitchen door but thanks to the early warning given by the smoke alarm, the two brothers and their friend, who were upstairs when the fire started, were able to escape safely from the property and call 999.

On arrival firefighters discovered that two of the family’s cats were still in the property so a team wearing breathing apparatus entered the smoke logged house to rescue the animals.

One of the rescued cats was given oxygen therapy by firefighters before both animals being taken to the vets. The young occupiers were uninjured.

“Once again, this incident highlights the value of having working smoke detectors in your home. The early warning from the smoke alarm has saved the occupiers and their pets from serious injury. Dishwashers, washing machines and tumble dryers often contain powerful motors with fast moving parts so can get very hot. We would advise people to carry out regular visual checks for any worn wiring and keep their appliances regularly maintained.”

– Incident Commander Neal Temperley from Littlehampton Fire Station


Fire crews dampen down at flat blaze

Fire rips through the top floor flat in Creine Mill Lane Credit: James King

Firefighters have made good progress with the fire at a block of flats in Canterbury.

The operation has now been scaled down from ten engines to four.

Crews were called at 14.28 yesterday afternoon to a fire in the utility room of a top floor flat in Creine Mill Lane in North Canterbury.

The front of the building has collapsed.

Canterbury Council has opened a rest centre at Age Concern in Castle Row for anyone who has been displaced following today's fire at the Tannery. All residents are accounted for.

“Crews have worked very hard to get this fire under control in very challenging conditions - dealing with a four storey building that was well alight. The building is a timber framed construction and so the fire was able to spread very quickly among the frame voids. This meant it was a difficult fire to fight in the early stages. At its height we had ten engines in attendance. The fire broke through the roof and we used two height vehicles to get water directly at fourth floor level. We also put some new equipment to very good use which stopped the fire spreading through roof voids and between floors. Firefighters used Fog Spikes to punch holes into the roof and through walls in order to insert a fine water spray that created a fire break and stop further spread.”

– Paul Flaherty, Assistant Director at Kent Fire and Rescue Service

Crews dealing with large fire in block of flats

Crews tackle a fire at a flat in Canterbury Credit: ITV Meridian

Fire crews in Kent are fighting a fire in Creine Mill Lane North Canterbury.

They were called at 14.28 to a fire in the utility room of a top floor flat.

Crews have been using four breathing apparatus, three main jets, two hose reel jets and a 135 ladder. Four fogspikes, which pump a fine spray into the building, are being used to create firebreaks to help prevent the lateral spread of the fire.

Ten pumps are currently at the incident. All residents are accounted for. The area is being evacuated.

Crews tackle large fires on Lydd Ranges

Last night around 25 KFRS firefighters dealt with five fires across 20 hectares of cut grass and reed in Lydd ranges.

Crews sectorised the multiple seats of fire that included an area of 10 hectares of reed banks alight, and an area of 300 metres square of grass alight.

Firefighters used equipment a 4x4 vehicle with a fogging unit that fires a super fine mist that can suppress fires using minimal water, and which can penetrate deeply into the base of the undergrowth. They also used flexi back packs with water hose sprays and beaters to contain the fires. They did a further inspection at the next morning to search for any remaining hotspots, amp them down.

The area is mainly grass and gorse which over many years has been compacted. This means a fire can be very deep seated and can spread, especially during periods of prolonged hot, dry weather when there has been little rain to saturate the undergrowth.

Warning after candle causes house fire

Fire crews are issuing a warning not to leave candles unattended following a fire at a house in Oxfordshire.

At 9:48pm on Thursday 2 July, Thames Valley Fire Control received reports of a living room on fire at Thorpe Road in Wardington.

Fire crews were on scene within minutes, and firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the building. Crews used a thermal imaging camera to locate, and then a high pressure hosereel to extinguish the fire, which involved the carpet and a sofa in the ground floor living room.

A specialist fan was then used to drive the remaining smoke from the property to help minimise the damage which this can cause.

The fire which was started by an unattended candle was confined to the living room due to the door being closed, this prevented it spreading to the rest of the house which could have trapped the occupants upstairs.

“Fortunately no one was hurt at this incident, and the family had working smoke alarms. Two lessons to be learned from this incident are: Never leave candles unattended and always protect your escape route by keeping it clear and shutting doors at night.”

– Incident Commander John Callaway
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