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, 16:51
The Dartford Crossing

Traffic has been building anti-clockwise after an accident in Essex

Yesterday, 12:09
Ryan Palmer and Maria McHugh starred on Don't Tell the Bride on Thursday night

The marriage was shown on the reality TV show on Thursday night

Yesterday, 12:00
Adam Gemili

We spoke to the Dartford sprinter on his goals, his injury hell and his growing support in Kent

Yesterday, 10:50
Matthew Scott at North Kent Police station

The plea comes from police and crime commissioner Matthew Scott

Yesterday, 10:42
One of the original news stories to feature Lorraine and Valerie

Six decades on from featuring on our front page, the Northfleet sisters celebrated this week

Yesterday, 09:07
Colin McRobert, president of Swanley and North Downs Lions, visited ellenor Gravesend recently to present the charity’s chief executive, Claire Cardy, with a cheque for £6000

Around £12,000 has been recently donated to the local hospice care charity

Most read

Competitions

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

Digital Edition

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

Newsletter Sign Up

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder