Kent

'Emergency contact only' for fire-damaged MP's office

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

Sports and the Olympics minister Hugh Robertson has asked constituents to contact him only in an emergency after his Kent office was gutted in a fire.

The fire, which started in Lenham Ironmongers in The Square, caused extensive damage to the Faversham and Mid-Kent MP's office above.

Eight shops and other businesses were damaged in Thursday's fire. The cause is not thought to be suspicious.

"This is a sad day for everyone who uses the building," said Mr Robertson.

'Short-term impact'

The Conservative MP said the fire, which broke out at 0345 BST, meant the building could not be occupied for some considerable time.

"As soon as we know the full extent of the fire, we will work as hard as necessary to get a full service to constituents up and running," he said.

In the meantime, he said, people should only contact his team in "a genuine emergency".

Six pumps and three support appliances were at the scene at the height of the fire and Faversham Road was closed in both directions.

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