Fire crews tackle Kingstanding Way blaze as local businesses lose power

INFERNO: Fire crews tackle last Thursday’s blaze

FIRE services were called to a blaze on an industrial estate in Tunbridge Wells last week after flames had engulfed a car and an electrical substation, leaving at least 40 nearby businesses without power.

Four fire engines from Kent Fire & Rescue Service attended a fire at 12.21pm on Thursday June 1, involving premises inside the Decimus Park industrial estate in Kingstanding Way.

Neighbouring businesses were evacuated, and the power was shut off by UK Power Networks for safety reasons. Nobody was injured during the incident.

Videos online showed fire crews battling flames that had burned out a car and spread rapidly to the outside of the building and electrical substation.

Plumes of black smoke were seen from North Farm Road and Longfield Road.

A Kent Fire & Rescue Service spokesperson said: “It’s believed the fire started accidentally in an outdoor smoking area, which spread to a car, a nearby substation and a large commercial unit. The cause is being linked to discarded smoking materials.”

By 2.40pm, the fire had been put out by crews, who remained on the scene to cool the remaining hotspots and assist electrical engineers, while officers from Kent Police closed the road.

Katie, an employee from a nearby business, told the Times: “I was one of the first people to call the fire brigade.

“The fire looked like it was in the bins next to the building and it spread really quickly to the car in front and then to the substation.

“I was moving round the building, looking out of the windows and saw the car go up. I heard a lot of popping of tyres.

“There were about 30 people in our building who were evacuated because of the fire, but we evacuated the office before the fire brigade turned up.”

Many local businesses reported power outages for over an hour, with some shops as far away as TKMaxx and Next in the Tunbridge Wells Shopping Park being affected.

A spokesperson for UK Power Networks said: “Our engineers were called to Kingstanding Way, Tunbridge Wells, following a fire at a substation at 12.43pm on June 1.

“For safety reasons, engineers turned off supplies to 40 customers, before restoring power to 24 customers in stages by 1.58pm.

“The remaining 16 supplies were reconnected at 2.15am on June 2.

“Alternative supplies are in place while new equipment is being installed.

“The cause of the fire will be investigated.”

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