News release text
Firefighters have now left the scene of a major blaze in Tenterden High Street after a serious fire took hold of an ironmongers shop at around 6.30pm last night (Tuesday).
At the height of the blaze, 10 appliances, an aerial appliance and a water unit were needed. Crews wore breathing apparatus and used a number of jets and a hydrant to tackle the blaze which broke out in the roof space of the three storey building. Compressed air foam was also used to fight the fire in the shop at ground floor level. Once the height vehicle had broken through the main roof it enabled the fire to be quickly brought under control with crews attacking the fire from neighbouring roofs.
Area Manager, Stuart Skilton, said: “Crews were on the scene within minutes to tackle what was a serious and well developed fire in a relatively old building. They worked hard and did a fantastic job to limit further fire spread to adjoining properties.
“Initially, we were concerned that there may have been people in the building and crews spent several hours fighting the blaze and searching the buildings but fortunately no-one was trapped or hurt. The very old nature of the building, combined with the intricate design and layout of pitched roofs, voids and additional buildings at the rear, made it a demanding job but we’re very pleased at the outcome.”
Crews had managed to suppress the fire in all areas by 9.45pm but continued to work extinguishing hot spots. Two floors of the shop were too unstable for crews to enter and were dealt with by external main jets enabling the incident to be reduced to four pumps shortly before 10.30pm.
Crews were reduced throughout the evening as the incident was scaled down and one pump remained on the scene during the morning damping down and carrying out a final check for hot spots with a thermal imaging camera. Duty of care was handed back to the occupiers at around 10am this morning.