River Medway houseboat man dies after fire

Scene of houseboat fire
Image caption Firefighters rescued the man from the boat and attempted resuscitation

A 49-year-old man has died after being rescued from a fire on a houseboat on the River Medway in Kent.

Emergency services were called to the boat beside St Peter's Street in Maidstone just after 0200 BST.

The man was rescued from the vessel and a fire officer attempted to resuscitate him before the arrival of paramedics. The man was later pronounced dead.

Kent Police said their officers would work with Kent Fire and Rescue Service to establish the cause of the blaze.

Fisherman Bob Lowthian said he and the dead man, who was looking after the boat for its owner, had been friends for about a year.

"He was an all right fella," he said.

"He was ex-army. I am ex-army myself and that is how we got to know each other."

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