Large Fire Breaks Out At Kent Coffee Factory

11 October 2018, 16:34

Dartford fire kent

Flats have been evacuated, with 50 residents leaving their homes after a large fire in Dartford.

The alarm was initially raised by an employee inside the building, which was evacuated.

The fire was noticed at UCC Coffee's roastery in Dartford, at around 5.30am this morning (October 11).

Firefighters were called to tackle flames on the ground floor of the warehouse on the Riverside Industrial Estate off Central Road.

10 fire engines were in attendance.

Nearby flats were evacuated, with 50 residents leaving their homes for a short time.

They have now been advised to return inside.

Kieran Down, lives in a block of flats opposite the building with his partner Charlotte Farrugia and their six-week-old baby Penelope Down.

The family were evacuated by police and have taken refuge with relatives who live in another part of town.

The 29-year-old water company manager said:

"I woke up this morning to head to work and heard a lot of noise outside.

"There is a lot of construction work on our road so our first thought was that they had started work early.

"I headed outside and could feel the heat as soon as I stepped out the door. It was already fully ablaze.

"I could see orange flames and hear lots of crackling.

"I went back in straight away to tell my partner to get dressed and get our baby ready too."

"My first priority was to get my family to safety.

"It was scary as there was lots of crackling. Being evacuated due to risk of explosion was quite terrifying.

"There were a lot of people being evacuated and a lot of spectators. There was panic and confusion."

He praised the response of emergency services, saying:

"We just hope everyone's safe who worked there.

"We've walked to my Mum's as we have been told we will not be able to return until later this afternoon."

Firecrews will be at the scene well into Friday to turn over and damp down a large amount of coffee stiil in the building to make sure any fire is properly extinguished.

A Kent Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman has said there were no reported casualties.

Residents and businesses are urged to keep doors and windows closed because of smoke in the area.

Roads around the warehouse have been closed.