Is Homebase Fire Linked to Two Other Incidents?
Kent Police's major crime department are looking at three incidents over the bank holiday weekend at DIY stores in the county.
On Saturday 1st May at 12.42pm 90 firefighters tackled a fire at the Homebase store in Aylesford. Crews remained at the scene until Monday.
Forensic officers will try and get into the site today to carry out investigations - until now it has been structurally unsafe.
The same day approximately an hour later members of staff at a B&Q store in Larkfield put out a fire in the lighting section.
The on Monday 3rd May at 2pm, staff at the B&Q in Maidstone found the preparation of a fire in the wood aisle of the store. A fire was not started but police were alerted.
Kent Police's Detective Superintendent Mick Judge, Head of Major and Serious Crime said: 'We would like to hear from anyone who was at any of these stores who may have seen anything suspicious, around the time of the three incidents, over the bank holiday weekend. Please contact the incident room with any information you may have as it may be prove vital to our investigation.
'Members of staff should be commended for their swift actions in evacuating the Homebase store. Had this not been the case, the outcome could have been very different. The fire has caused extensive damage but thankfully no-one has been hurt.'
Anyone with any information can contact the incident room on 01622 654841. Alternatively contact Kent Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Detective Superintendent Mick Judge continued: 'We have arrested and charged one man in connection with the incident in the B&Q store in Maidstone, however it is important that anyone with any information contact us immediately as our investigations are continuing.'
27 year old Benny Dighton, of no fixed address, was charged with attempted arson with intent to endanger life and one offence of burglary at a school in Maidstone. He appeared before Maidstone magistrates today and has been remanded in custody until his next court appearance.