Search

Suspicious Gravesend DIY store fire

10:53 24 February 2012

Suspicious fire in Gravesend

Suspicious fire in Gravesend

Archant

This is the dramatic moment a DIY store burst in to flames during a suspicious fire last night (Thursday February 23).

About 50 firefighters tackled the blaze at Start to Finish, in Wrotham Road, Gravesend, which started at about 8.30pm, while 60 people had to be evacuated from nearby homes and flats above adjoining shops and across the road.

The two-storey building was badly damaged, while the roof caved in and large panes of glass crashed on to a car parked outside,

Firefighters spent eight hours putting out the flames and Wrotham Road is still closed from Zion Place to Trafalgar Road.

Guru Ponnushany, 43, who has owned nearby East West Food and Wine for 10 years, said: “A friend I was talking with in the shop left and I went to put cardboard outside and as he walked near to the shop there was a blast noise. Then the glass pane fell out, he rushed back as flames started coming out. It was very powerful, we are gald no-one was walking past, he was very lucky a second later he would have been directly outside.

“I was worried for my shop but luckily the firefightes got it under control quickly and moved people out.”

Heather Wilson, 23, was evacuated from the flats opposite with her daughter Ava, who is eight-months-old.

Speaking as she returned this morning, she said: “I heard this explosion, the whole room lit up orange and I looked out to see the burning building.

“I immediately called 999 and went in to another flat as mine was very close. The room still smells of smoke.”

Witnesses reported gas cylinders at the site exploding.

As the road remained closed this morning ash covered nearby cars and gas engineers worked to make the scene safe.

Where you affected email michael.adkins@archant.co.uk

0 comments

Latest News

Yesterday, 12:33
Gadd family

Boost for the ‘home from home’ for eight weeks during traumatic hospital treatment

Yesterday, 11:53
Post Office

Post office will move to new home in August

Yesterday, 11:04
Gravesend in bloom

Borough is hoping to win gold again

Yesterday, 09:37

He is charged with possessing a firearm in Dartford

Yesterday, 09:33
Police have named a man who died when his Fiesta crashed into a route 189 bus as John Paddick

Teen charged with taking a vehicle without consent

Tue, 16:25
Kate French with Kelli Hooper

Modern pentathlete Kate French talked about life as an athlete

Most read

Competitions

Limited edition Opihr Gin goodies up for grabs!

Opihr Oriental Spiced Gin is a unique style of London Dry Gin created at G&J one of the world’s oldest gin distillers, using exotic botanicals, herbs and spices.

Pop on the most stylish eyewear around from Specsavers.

London eyecare specialists Specsavers are offering London24 readers the chance to win a £150 voucher to spend on stylish eyewear in the city.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Gravesend Reporter e-edition today E-edition