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A poxy year' for disaster zone family struck by arsonists

PUBLISHED: 17:18 21 October 2009 | UPDATED: 10:50 12 August 2010

GUTTED: The flames destroyed a warehouse.

GUTTED: The flames destroyed a warehouse.

A FATHER whose house was damaged in a massive fire has said it is the latest disaster to happen in a poxy year . Paul Glynn, of Rock Hill, Chelsfield and his family were evacuated last Thursday after a neighbouring warehouse went up in flames at about 9

A FATHER whose house was damaged in a massive fire has said it is the latest disaster to happen in a "poxy year".

Paul Glynn, of Rock Hill, Chelsfield and his family were evacuated last Thursday after a neighbouring warehouse went up in flames at about 9pm.

The blaze, believed to have been started deliberately, leapt up to more than 20ft, engulfing the roof of his gym and causing £250,000 worth of damage.

The latest incident comes just months after he had to rebuild part of their home after an accidental gas explosion.

Mr Glynn said: "It's been a poxy year, terrible. We were just getting things sorted and now this, and we've been burgled twice."

He was alerted to the fire by his neighbour, Lee Manning, 46, who spotted the flames and called the Fire Brigade.

Mr Glynn added: "He called me and said: 'Are you having a bonfire? There's something burning.' Then a van parked there went up. I moved my cars as quickly as I could. It was burning right up over the fence.

"The Fire Brigade seemed to have it under control for a bit but when they broke the windows the flames leapt up.

"Then the air caught it and the flames whooshed up to the roof and then the air blew it on to the trees and everything near it was alight."

Firefighters from eight London and Kent brigades including Dartford, Swanley and Biggin Hill were forced to empty Mr Glynn's swimming pool as they ran out of water.

Officers cordoned off 250 metres around the area after canisters of oxyacetylene were found in the warehouse, which was used for storage by Dr Watson's Soft Drinks company.

They were placed in Mr Glynn's lake to cool down for fear of an explosion.

Residents were told to wait at the Rock and Fountain pub, but Mr Glynn was forbidden to collect his dogs that were locked in the far end of the house.

Mr Glynn added: "They told me they would arrest me for obstruction if I tried to get them. It was quite unnerving because I thought they were under threat.

"They let us back at 3am and the dogs were fine, but I found the roof of the gym had fallen in and I'd lost thousands of pounds worth of gym gear."

Steve Diplock, who has run his soft drink delivery company from the warehouse for 12 years, said he was stunned when he drove up to the site this morning to see it totally destroyed.

He said: "I don't know how the fire started, it's destroyed everything, thousands of pounds worth of stock.

"We're basically out of business until we can find another site and completely restock."

Firefighters left the scene in the early hours of the morning after battling the fire for more than 10 hours.

Kent Police confirmed on Monday that the fire was being treated as arson and the cause is being investigated.

Anyone with information should call police on 01732 379217, quoting reference 15074, or to remain anonymous Kent Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

kate.mead@archant.co.uk

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