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14 July 2010, 06:21
Around 80 firefighters were needed to tackle a fire on Staplehurst High Street.
They were called to the three storey building, which is used as a post office and private accomodation, at 3.37am on Wednesday (14th July) after reports of a fire in a first floor bedroom.
Ten people were led to safety from the building and it's not thought anyone has been injured.
Specialist equipment was used as the fire spread to two neighbouring buildings.
Incident Commander Stuart Skilton said: “Crews were quickly on the scene this morning to tackle what was a serious and well developed fire which was spreading rapidly. They worked hard and did a fantastic job to limit further fire spread and water damage.
“Initially, we were concerned that there may have been people in the building and crews spent a couple of hours fighting the blaze and searching the buildings but fortunately no-one was trapped or hurt. This was a demanding job and we’re very pleased at the outcome.”
No-one has been injured, two Red Cross support vehicles were in attendance and road closures were put in place.
Chief Inspector Robbie Graham, Borough Commander for Maidstone comments: "As a result of the fire, a diversion using Offham Lane has been put in place and the road remains closed at the junction with Chapel Lane near the post office. HGV's are being diverted through Headcorn, but small goods vehicles and mini buses will be allowed to take the diversion around Staplehurst. Therefore, we request, wherever possible for drivers to avoid the area due to traffic congestion.
It's really pleasing to see such a fantastic community spirit and everyone has been pulling together. The initial response from residents in assisting emergency services and council has been superb and I would to thank them for their help.
Our officers remain at the scene and in conjunction with our partners at KFRS are trying to establish the cause of the fire."