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Van blaze drama

PUBLISHED: 16:51 18 February 2009 | UPDATED: 10:28 23 August 2010

GUTTED: Flames decimated the van in Northfield Estate, Hartley on Sunday night.

GUTTED: Flames decimated the van in Northfield Estate, Hartley on Sunday night.

FLAMES raged as high as nearby houses after a van caught fire in a village housing estate at the weekend, writes Joe Shackley. This is all that remains of the charred vehicle, parked in Northfield Estate, Hartley, following the blaze which started around

FLAMES raged as high as nearby houses after a van caught fire in a village housing estate at the weekend, writes Joe Shackley.

This is all that remains of the charred vehicle, parked in Northfield Estate, Hartley, following the blaze which started around 7.15pm on Sunday.

The van, which belongs to a carpet fitter, was loaded with glues, chemicals and carpets which caused the spectacular flames.

Retired Peter Thomason, of Chestnuts, Northfield Estate, Hartley, whose garage backs onto the location spotted the blaze as he returned home.

He said: "It was quite a blaze. There was a big explosion just as we got home. It must've been going for quite a long while. There was burnt carpet chucked all over the road. The site of the fire is an eyesore to everything else around it.

"The van is parked in an area where there are normally other parked cars. If there had been vehicles nearby on the night of the fire it could've been disastrous. Some of the flames were higher than houses.

"People came out of their homes to have a look. I was worried that it might spread onto trees and damage other houses. It was only 10 yards from the side of my property."

Dartford firefighter and crew manager Kevin Elliot added: "The fire was going pretty strong when we arrived.

"There was a huge black plume of smoke and although the flames looked pretty impressive, they were easy to control.

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