Homes Evacuated after Garage Fire

24 March 2010, 05:34 | Updated: 24 March 2010, 18:24

People living near Maidstone have had to spend the night away from their homes after a fire broke out.

It started in a block of garages on Beaconsfield Road in Tovil just before midnight.

The garage contained a number of vehicles and pressurised gas canisters, so a 200 meter exclusion zone was put in place.

Residents of around 40 homes were moved out, those who couldn't stay with friends or family were taken to a rest centre set up at Mote Park Leisure Centre.

The fire was put out at around 4am this morning but firefighters are still there to cool down the canisters.


Maidstone Fire Station Manager Greg Theophanides said: “Gas cylinders, whatever their gas content, can explode when exposed to fire, causing serious damage to property, or even life, so we have to tackle any fire involving them very cautiously.”

Kent Police's Inspector David Coleman said: 'To ensure everyone's safety it has been necessary to put this cordon in place.  Residents can also be assured that we have increased police presence around the proximity of the cordon to ensure it remains secure. 

'We apologise for any inconvenience this has caused to those residents and business owners within the cordon and thank the community for their assistance during this time whilst KFRS carry out their duties.'

Beaconsfield Road and Wharf Road have been closed due to the cordon. 

There is a small industrial estate within the cordon and therefore this will also be affected.

It is thought the cordon will remain in place for approximately 24 hours.

An information number's been set up: 01622 602 000