Kent

Lenham shops fire destroys MP Hugh Robertson's office

Lenham fire
Image caption The fire destroyed Lenham Ironmongers and the Faversham MP's office

A fire which started in a Kent hardware store has destroyed the constituency office of a government minister.

The fire in The Square, Lenham, destroyed eight shops, other businesses and the office of Hugh Robertson, Minister for Sports and the Olympics.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service said six pumps and three support appliances were at the scene at the height of the fire.

The cause of the blaze, which broke out at Lenham Ironmongers at 0345 BST, is not thought to be suspicious.

'Really bad news'

The office of Mr Robertson, Conservative MP for Faversham and Mid Kent, was above the parade of shops.

"There are eight shops in here, with businesses behind and we are are all affected," said shopkeeper Anne Francis-Fisher.

"It is really bad news."

Four pumps remained on the scene during the day on Thursday. Faversham Road was closed in both directions but later reopened.

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