A ‘discarded cigarette’ is thought to have caused a house fire near Canterbury

A discarded cigarette is thought to be the cause of a house fire near Canterbury

A discarded cigarette is thought to be the cause of a house fire near Canterbury

Around 34 firefighters in six engines attended a fire at a thatched property near Canterbury, which is believed to have been caused by a discarded cigarette.

Crews from Kent Fire and Rescue Service were called to the large house in Stelling Minnis at 2.44am this morning (Monday, May 8). A height vehicle and a bulk water carrier were also used to tackle the blaze.

A fog spike – a device used to punch holes into the structure – was used so water could be delivered into the thatch to help preserve more of the of the structure.
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The spike produces a a super-fine misting effect that helps to dramatically reducing the temperature and spread of the fire.

A spokesperson for Kent Fire and Rescue Service said: “Firefighters also used thermal imaging cameras to check for fire spread and hot spots. They were able to successfully cut off the wire mesh, enabling them to start removing the affected thatch.

“This helped to create a fire break, so they could extinguish around the affected area with fog spike to prevent the fire from spreading further, which would have had a devastating effect on this very large, complex thatched roof.

“They also carried out salvage work with the occupants both inside and outside of the property, putting up sheeting to reduce the amount of water damage to internal fixtures and fittings.”

Fire crews are scheduled to return the property today.