Woman dies in Broadstairs house fire

The fire Image copyright Brendan Martin
Image caption Kent Fire & Rescue brought the fire under control

A woman has died in a fire at a house in Kent.

The fire broke out in a three-storey house in Rectory Road, Broadstairs, at about 18:30 GMT on Monday.

Five fire engines were sent to fight the blaze and Kent Police attended to close the road while the fire was being tackled.

The woman, in her 50s, who was pronounced dead at the scene has been named locally as Julia Brown.

Her next of kin have been informed and a report is being prepared for the coroner, police said.

Image copyright Martin Cheek
Image caption Julia Brown was "described as warm, bubbly, kind and generous"

Brendan Martin, who lives across the road, witnessed the fire devastate the house.

He told the BBC it was "quite incredible how fast that fire took hold".

He said: "When I arrived the ground floor was alight, the rest of the house was intact.

"Suddenly it moved to the second floor and after a few minutes it was up into the roof."

He added: "To have somebody amongst us die in such a tragic way is stunning."

Ms Brown's friend Martin Cheek described her as "warm, bubbly, kind and generous".

He said he first met Ms Brown when she was a student on an art course he was running, and she went on to collect some of his work.

She had been working on a set of 12 mosaics, Mr Cheek said.

"It's really tragic. We're all really sorry and sad."

Investigations into the cause of the fire are ongoing, Kent Police said.

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