Saturday, 1 May 2010

Major Fire in Medway Valley

There has been a major fire at Homebase DIY in the Aylsford Retail Park.

You could see the smoke all across the Medway region from East Malling to Rainham.

The fire started at 12.45 today in the timber section. It is believed to be arson and rumours are circulating of other attempts made in nearby shops.

I was only in this shop yesterday looking for a carpet cleaner.

Fortunately, Homebase's evacuation procedures were highly efficient and there were no casualties but it took ten fire engines to control the blaze.

I was on my way to Royal Tunbridge Wells from Medway along the A288. When we realised how big was the fire we diverted along the M20. Found out later that the roads around the retail park were closed. The smoke plume was massive and toxic particles are coming down all over the Medway Valley.

Video here:


  1. Bad news for handymen and hobbyists. Hopefully the toxins aren't too bad.

    It does make me wonder, though, how UK fire engines compare to those used here in the US on size and pumping ability...

  2. Dear Joe

    Kent is a densely populated county. There are loads more Homebases and B&Qs close by.

    I think they are just being cautious about the toxins. I guess it could have been dangerous for asthmatics etc. But it was quite spectacular while it lasted. The smoke plume towered over the Weald of Kent.

    Don't know about the engines. Ours may be smaller to get around the road network. The Kent Fire Brigade apparently sent 10 or so. They would be worried about the fire spreading through the stores. There is a big petrol station there as well.


  3. I saw the smoke from my bedroom window in Boxley. At 1st we thought it was the paper mill. Got in the car to go and have a look. You can view my photos of Homebase here

  4. Dear Carol
    Yes, I assumed it was the paper mill at first.