Picture: Courtesy of Kent Fire & Rescue Service (KFRS)
Kent Police VHave confirmed to SFM News that they have arrested a person following a series of fires in Maidstone overnight.
A 22-year-old local man was taken into custody following fires that caused significant damage to town centre businesses and also to cars parked in residential roads.
Police were was called at 1.16am this morning (Monday 8th June) to reports that five cars had been set alight in the Buckland Road and Somerfield Road area of the town. Then at 2.11am it was reported that The Works bookstore in Week Street, Maidstone, was on fire and that it had spread to adjoining properties.
Following the arrest officers are continuing to appeal to members of the public for information. Chief Superintendent Steve Corbishley told SFM News: "We are continuing to work closely with investigators from Kent Fire and Rescue Service to determine the exact cause of these incidents. We are also reviewing CCTV throughout parts of the town as part of our enquiries. The fires were all started within an hour of each other and whilst we have a person in custody it is important that anyone with any information comes forward. If you have seen anyone acting suspiciously don't hesitate to get in touch. Arson endangers people's lives, whether it's the owners of the property or staff. These incidents have had a tremendous impact on both residents and to traders, who have had property destroyed or have been unable to open businesses because of the on-going efforts by fire crews to tackle the fire in Week Street. We are working with other partners such as the local council to make sure that any businesses affected get the support they need. In the meantime parts of the town centre will remain closed so we can ensure everyone's safety. We are grateful for everyone's patience whilst the investigation continues."
Anyone with any information is asked to call Kent Police on 01732 379285, or alternatively they can call Kent Crimestoppers free (from any landline) and anonimously on 0800 555 111.