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Derelict pub gutted

PUBLISHED: 15:29 05 March 2008 | UPDATED: 09:32 23 August 2010

MORE than 30 firefighters tackled a blaze in a three storey derelict pub that was torched by arsonists. Six fire pumps were called to the Prince of Wales pub on East Milton Road, Gravesend at 2am on Monday. Watch manager Lawrence Pater, of Thames-side

MORE than 30 firefighters tackled a blaze in a three storey derelict pub that was torched by arsonists.

Six fire pumps were called to the Prince of Wales pub on East Milton Road, Gravesend at 2am on Monday.

Watch manager Lawrence Pater, of Thames-side Fire Station, Coldharbour Road, Northfleet said: "We were called to reports of smoke coming out from the windows of the pub.

"When we arrived we found the ground floor on fire and the entrance doors had been broken into."

Because of the size of the fire extra crews were called in from Dartford, Swanscombe, Strood and Hoo.

Mr Pater added: "It was a very dangerous structure. The whole place was boarded up so we had to take off the boards and that just ventilated the fire.

"We weren't able to go inside because it was a derelict pub and we didn't want to take any unnecessary risks. It was like a rabbit warren inside."

The fire was fought from the outside of the building using the height vehicle from Thames side fire station and tiles were removed from the roof so the fire could be fought from above.

The blaze was under control by 5.30am and no-one was reported injured.

A spokesperson for Kent Police said: "The cause of the fire is being treated as suspicious and is being investigated."

Call police on 01474 565064.

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