Gravesend fire: Evacuation amid blaze near gas tanks

  • 31 August 2013
  • From the section Kent
Police helicopter photo of the Gravesend fire
Image caption The smoke could be seen from London and Maidstone, posts on Twitter said
Fire in Gravesend
Image caption Caravans were on fire at the yard, Kent Fire and Rescue Service said
Fire in Gravesend
Image caption The fire was reported at just after 11:20 BST

People have been evacuated from the area around a large fire in a yard next to gas holders in Gravesend.

The blaze in Canal Road was reported at just after 11:20 BST.

Kent Fire Service said at its height more than 70 firefighters with 12 fire engines tackled the blaze and they were expecting crews to stay all night.

A large plume of black smoke could be seen around the area and local residents were advised to keep windows and doors shut as a precaution.

A fire service spokesman said: "The incident has been reduced to eight fire engines with crews likely to be at the scene throughout the night.

"The cause of the fire is not yet known and will be investigated."

There were no reports of any injuries and nearby gas containers had not been affected, the spokesman said earlier.

'Still smoky'

Kent Police said the canal basin had been evacuated, and there have been road closures in the area of Prospect Road and The Terrace.

A cordon has been established, but no homes have been evacuated, a police spokeswoman said.

London Fire Brigade have also sent fire engines to the scene.

Kent Fire and Rescue said three main water jets were being used to tackle the fire at the yard.

Messages on Twitter said the smoke could be seen from London and Maidstone.

Lucy Partridge, who lives nearby, said: "I first noticed the fire when I went into my living room to open a window and saw smoke coming over the top of flats opposite.

"I thought it was a bonfire that got out of control.

"The fire had been going for a couple of hours, but even now it's still smoky.

"There are fire hoses running through our road and you can't drive in or out of the road."

Media captionMichael Whitcombe captured footage of the fire in Gravesend

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