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Man taken to hospital with breathing difficulties following fire at Medway industrial estate

Fire officers say they have contained the fire to one building Credit: ITV Meridian

A man has been taken to hospital suffering from the effects of smoke inhalation following the fire at Medway City Estate in Strood. The fire broke out at the Viridor recycling plant at about 6 o'clock this evening. Fire officers say the building was empty, but a man appeared later. They think he was a member of staff who had been trying to tackle the fire. The fire is now under control and has been confined to one building. Plumes of thick black smoke from the fire could be sen as far away as East London, but the fire service said tonight, the fumes weren't toxic. Most of the material in the plant was cardboard for recycling. Residents living nearby were, however, advised to keep their windows and doors open.

Exclusive: close up pictures of the fire damaged buildings in Medway

The back of the building on the Medway City Estate Credit: South East Coast Ambulance Service
Firefighters have been at the scene for more than five hours Credit: South East Coast Ambulance Service
The damage is extensive, but no-one was hurt Credit: South east Coast Ambulance Service
The plumes of smoke could be seen from miles away Credit: ITV Meridian

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Eyewitness images show huge smoke cloud over Medway towns from industrial estate fire

Fire crews in Kent fighting huge blaze on industrial estate

Thousands of people visit Rochester's Dickens Festival

A parade through the town kicked off the festival Credit: ITV news

Thousands of people are expected to visit Rochester's Dickens Festival, which started today. The event kicked off with the annual parade. This year's theme was Oliver Twist.

Dicken's "Fagin" joins the crowd Credit: ITV news

Dickens enthusiasts, strolling players, re-enactors, Dickensian 'characters', join the public in a Festival to commemorate and celebrate the life of Charles Dickens. The event also includes readings, competitions, re-enactments and street entertainment

Charles Dickens spent much of his childhood in Medway while his father worked at the Dockyards. Many of his novels and characters have been based on the places he visited and people he met whilst living in the area. Medway is proud of its history with this national legend, who created some of the world's most memorable fictional characters and remains generally regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian period.

Rochester pays homage to its famous author

He's Rochester's most famous resident, and this weekend author Charles Dickens is being remembered along with his famous characters and novels. The Dickens Festival attracts thousands of people each year. Andrea Thomas spoke to Medway Council's events manager Carl Madjitey and Steve Martin from the Rochester and Chatham Dickens Fellowship. Oh, and a rather risque group of enthusiasts!

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