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Praise for KFRS crews following two serious fires

Firefighters who tackled two fatal blazes in Kent last night have been praised for their professionalism.

At both incidents - in Longfield and Herne Bay - firefighters rescued casualties from the burning buildings before administering life support first aid. Kent Fire and Rescue Service's Assistant Director of Community Safety, Steve Griffiths said: "Their extensive training was fully evident last night and although we are sadly reflecting on two deaths this morning, the crews worked really hard in very difficult circumstances to limit the loss of life and property."

The first fire broke out at sheltered accommodation in Churchill Avenue in Herne Bay at 10.09pm. Two appliances from Herne Bay and one from Whitstable were sent to the ground floor flat where crews wore breathing apparatus to rescue one man. They then administered oxygen therapy and resuscitated him while awaiting the arrival of paramedics but unfortunately he later died.

The second blaze was at Main Road in Longfield at 11.43pm. Two pumps from Dartford, one from Horton Kirby and one from Thameside arrived at the scene to discover a serious fire in the lounge on the ground floor of the two storey end-of-terrace home. One man and two women were quickly rescued from the property suffering from smoke inhalation and were given vital first aid. The man was declared dead at the scene and the woman were transferred by ambulance to hospital.

Steve Griffiths added: "An appliance arrived at the Longfield fire within six minutes of KFRS being called. The crews performed extremely well to prevent it spreading to other properties and firefighters were congratulated by their ambulance colleagues for their efforts on the scene.

"The crews from Herne Bay also did an excellent job in containing the blaze and reassuring the other residents. Although that flat had a working smoking alarm, the Longfield house didn't and both tragedies serve as a stark warning to others that it's easy to overlook safety measures at this busy time of year but you must always take steps to protect your homes and families."

Both fires are being investigated but at this stage they are believed to be accidental.

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