Rochester flats blaze: Kent fire crews rescue residents

Thirteen people have been rescued by fire crews after a suspected arson attack at a block of flats in Kent.

The fire started at a four-storey building off Gravel Walk in Rochester at 00:20 BST.

The fire, which crews believe may have been started deliberately, has badly damaged the stairwell of the building.

A 38-year-old man from Rochester and a 30-year-old woman from Chatham have been arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life.

A Kent Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said residents were being treated for smoke inhalation and one man suffered cuts to his face.

Watch manager Pete Harris said: "The situation was unfortunately complicated by residents opening their doors and letting smoke from the fire in the stairwell into their flats.

"The best thing to do if your escape route is not clear is to stay put and call for help."

The Red Cross were at the scene offering support to residents and the emergency services.

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