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Two men rescued from house fire in Chatham

Two men have been rescued from a fire at a mid-terrace house on Luton Road in Chatham, Kent. Firefighters were called to the building overnight. Crews extinguished a fire on the ground floor.

One man was led to safety from the loft space suffering from the effects of having breathed in smoke, while a second man is in the care of the ambulance service. Kent Police were also called to the scene. An investigation is underway into what caused the fire.


Huge fire at paper mill in Kemsley in Kent

Firefighters are tackling a major blaze at a paper mill in Ridham Avenue in Kemsley near Sittingbourne. Kent Fire & Rescue Service were called to the scene just after 3pm. A mechanical digger is being used to break up and move the stacks of paper on the site.

The fire is causing a lot of smoke in the general area. People living nearby are being advised to close their windows and doors as a precaution while the fire is being tackled

Maidstone fires latest: Our reporter from the scene

A man has been arrested after a fire destroyed a bookshop in the middle of Maidstone in Kent overnight.

The blaze at "The Works" on Week Street also affected four other neighbouring stores. It is thought the pedestrianised area outside the shops will have to remain closed for at least 48 hours. Our reporter David Johns sent this from the scene.

Maidstone town centre fires reaction: The council's Emergency Planning Manager

The emergency services are still dealing with the aftermath of the two fires in the centre of Maidstone on Sunday. Firefighters are expected to remain at the scene for some time.

Access has been closed off to the roads where the fire-damaged buildings are located. However, that means other businesses - untouched by the flames - also have to remain closed for safety reasons, while the area surrounding the affected buildings is made secure.

David Harrison, the Emergency Planning Manager for Maidstone Borough Council, said that closing off part of Week Street from the junction with the HSBC bank to Fremlin Walk was necessary to ensure public safety.


Maidstone town centre fires reaction: The stallholder

Stallholder Kris van Haeften turned up to set up his fruit and vegetable stall in the centre of Maidstone this morning, only to find diversions and road closures near his pitch because of the fires overnight. He is worried that the closures could lead shoppers to head elsewhere in Kent.

McDonald's fire at Bluewater shopping centre in Kent

Crews from Kent Fire & Rescue Service were called to the Bluewater shopping centre after a fire at a McDonalds restaurant on the site this afternoon.

The Winter Garden area of the complex was closed to the public for an hour and a half while firefighters dealt with the incident. No-one was injured.

Firefighters were called to the site at 12.55, they dealt with a small fire and left at 1.19pm. The A spokesperson for Bluewater said that the Winter Garden has reopened for business, but the restaurant will remain closed for the rest of the day.

The Winter Garden at Bluewater was closed after a small fire in a restaurant Credit: Fraser Ross

Kent Fire & Rescue say savings are 'essential'

The county is changing fast and we have to do the same. In previous years, we made sure we have stations in the right location for modern day needs. Now we are looking at how we can work differently in ways that will maintain emergency cover but also help us make essential savings of £10million over the next three years.

Proposals include improving emergency cover by increasing the hours day-crewed firefighters respond immediately from their station by 35 hours a week and improving the availability of our on-call engines.”

– Ann Millington, Chief Executive of KFRS
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