The blaze last Wednesday (June 29) started in a shed behind the Atman Clinic in London Road, Southborough. The fire broke out in at around 3.30pm and soon spread, setting fire to a fence before blowing out the windows of an apartment upstairs to the clinic.
A woman was taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation after being rescued by firefighters. A spokesman for Kent Fire and Rescue Service said: “Four fire engines were at the scene and crews rescued a woman.
“Kent Police and Southeast Coast Ambulance paramedics were also in attendance.”
Owner of the Atman Clinic, Geoff Montague- Smith, told the Times that he believed the fire was started deliberately in a bin store.
He said: “Our clinic is on the ground floor and above that are flats where the bins are kept in the bin store. We think that is where they started it.
“It began very small but spread very fast. I went back to the clinic and shut all the doors but there is still a lot of smoke damage.
“The heat blew the windows out at the flat upstairs and a girl in the flat couldn’t get out so had to be rescued by firefighters. There would have been fatalities if more people had been in the building.”
He added that the fire service was there within ten minutes but were hampered by temporary lights on the London Road.
“It began very small but spread very fast”
“The blaze was literally roaring when they got here,” he said. “The damage to the clinic will be in the thousands but I’ve no idea how badly damaged the flats are.”
Commuters leaving Tunbridge Wells were forced to follow a diversion after police closed the road as the fire service battled to control the blaze causing traffic to back up along the A26. A spokesman for Kent Police said they are treating the fire as ‘suspicious’ and have arrested three teenage boys.
He told the Times: “Officers were called to London Road at around 3.40pm on Wednesday, June 29, where fire crews were responding to a fire in a shed that had spread to neighbouring properties.
“One person was taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation and an investigation into the cause of the fire was commenced.
“Three teenage boys have been arrested on suspicion of arson and taken into custody.”