9:47am Tuesday 23rd April 2013
By Sam Christie
TERRIFIED residents in a fire-ravaged Gravesend street say they are living in fear after two people were hospitalised by the third blaze in the past month.
A man was injured after jumping from the four-storey building to escape the fire in Harmer Street in the early hours of Sunday morning.
After leaping for his life it is believed he rushed back inside to help other residents before having to be rescued by firefighters who used a ladder to reach him.
Six fire engines were called to the town centre street at 12.45am to battle the blaze.
The fire started just yards from Kent Hair Studio – the scene of two suspected arson attacks in four days at the end of last month.
Rex Wu, 34, who lives and works next door to where the latest fire broke out, raised the alarm.
He told News Shopper: "It started quickly.
"When the fire brigade arrived there were flames coming out of the ground floor window.
"The fire was next to gas pipes and I was worried about a big explosion.
"We shouted ‘is anyone there?’ But we didn’t want to go upstairs."
Mr Wu moved to Gravesend from Peterborough in the New Year to work at Harmer Street-based Chinese takeaway China Dove.
All three fires have broken out during the early hours of the morning and he says residents are worried.
He said: "It’s scary. I’ve never seen fire in real life and it’s quite scary to see it.
"It’s really concerning, we need to do something. I’ve only lived here for a couple of months.
"The houses are attached to each other and this is the worry."
Firefighters from Thames-Side, Medway, Swanscombe and Dartford were called to the scene The man who leapt from the window suffered a suspected broken arm.
He and another person were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation and taken to Darent Valley Hospital.
Crews battled the blaze throughout the night and left the scene at 5.35am.
Kent Police were called to Harmer Street at 12.55am and are treating the fire as unexplained.
The cause of the blaze is being investigated.
Meanwhile the 20-year-old man arrested following the two fires in four days at the end of last month has been rebailed until Monday, April 29.
He was arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life in connection with the blazes on March 24 and 27 at Kent Hair Shop in Harmer Street.
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