22.8.17 Northfleet fire: Homes evacuated as building is engulfed


People were evacuated from their homes as a large blaze broke out in a residential area in Kent.

Plumes of black smoke could be seen rising from the fire in the derelict leisure centre in Nelson Road, Northfleet.  People reported seeing the huge plumes of black smoke as far away as Greenhithe and Bluewater, four miles away.

Residents were advised to keep windows and doors shut due to the amount of smoke in the area.

Kent Police stated that occupants of about 50 homes were evacuated to the nearby Cygnet Leisure Centre.  Road closures were in place while fire crews remained at the scene damping down.

Police, ambulance and local authority staff were assisting those who needed evacuation, said a Kent Fire and Rescue spokesperson.

The grounds had been used for local sports for 81 years before its sudden closure four years ago.

There were no reported injuries.

Story collated by Liz Turnbull.

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