Blaze in progress.

Homebase burns down on May Bank Holiday weekend

Published:  03 May, 2010

KENT: About 90 firefighters fought back a blaze at South Aylesford Retail Park which demolished a branch of Homebase on Saturday and spread to Carpetright, causing shoppers and staff to flee the site.

Fire crews left the scene 42 hours after it started, although further checks were made during the course of the day.

A spokeswoman for Kent Fire and Rescue Service said a mechanical digger was brought in on Sunday night to demolish some unstable parts of the building.

Crews were then able to access the last remaining hotspots before leaving the scene in the morning.

Kent Police said fire crews had to declare the fire out, and the building remains had to be checked for structural safety before officers could access the site on Tuesday or Wednesday.

The fire is being treated as suspicious.

Officers were investigating whether the incident could be linked to a blaze at a B&Q store in nearby Larkfield which happened shortly after the alert was raised at Homebase. The stores are two miles apart.

There have been a number of fires reported at merchant and DIY outlets since the beginning of the year.

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