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Maidstone town centre shops fire ‘linked to car fires’


A “suspicious” fire that damaged four shops in the centre of Maidstone in the early hours may be linked to five earlier car fires, Kent Police said.

The fire broke out in The Works bookshop in Week Street at about 02:00 BST, hitting all three floors.

At the height of the fire 15 fire engines were at the scene. There were no reported casualties.

The fire came after five cars were set alight in the Buckland Road and Somerfield Road areas of Maidstone.

Kent Police say they are treating the cause of the fires as suspicious, and inquiries are ongoing.

The car fires were reported at just after 01:15 BST, Kent Police said.

A spokesman for force said: “We are not ruling out that they’re linked.”

Flats behind the shops were evacuated and Week Street remains closed.

The fire service said fire crews were expected to remain at the scene for several days.

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