Monday, 18 May 2009


Thanet district Council press release

Work is continuing to make safe a set of terraced buildings, badly damaged by fire in Cliftonville.

The fire broke out late on Saturday night at the properties in Northdown Road and saw 80 firefighters tackling it throughout Sunday and into Monday. Six people were re-housed in emergency accommodation by Thanet District Council, but all have now made their own arrangements. There have been no reports of anyone being hurt.

Building Control officers from the council have been on the scene throughout today (Monday 18 May), assessing the damage to the building. Work is being undertaken this afternoon to put additional scaffolding in place around the building to make it safe.

It is hoped that Northdown Road, which is currently closed between Prices Avenue and Crawford Gardens will be open by tomorrow (Tuesday 19 May) afternoon, with shops and businesses that have been affected by the fire in that area able to re-open at that time. Work is continuing to re-connect gas and electricity supplies to affected properties and it is expected that the work will be completed by midday tomorrow.

Deputy Chief Executive, John Bunnett, said: "This has had an excellent response from everyone involved, both inside the council and from our partners at Kent Police and Kent Fire and Rescue Service. Our officers have once again excelled themselves and have been working around the clock to try and return the area to normal as quickly as possible. That's our priority at the moment. We want to see businesses in the area that have been affected able to trade again as soon as the building is made safe and we're doing everything we can to ensure that happens."

Chief Superintendent John Molloy said: "I would like to thank the residents, shop owners and staff and visitors in Cliftonville for their understanding and support over the past few days. It is quite evident just what an extensive fire this was and our first priority has been to ensure everyone's safety, followed by working to get the community's life back to business as usual. The structure is too dangerous at the moment to start our investigations on site. However, we would welcome anyone with any information to contact Margate police station on 01843 231055 or to talk to one of our Cliftonville neighbourhood officers as soon as possible."

The cause of the fire is not yet known and is under investigation

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